living water in a thirsting world

February 5, 2005 | 1 Comment

streamNo one will argue with me if I say that our culture has become more spiritually aware in recent years. That’s been a popular topic for Christians to discuss. Some, however, might disagree with me when I say that one of the problems the church is facing is that many people don’t see the church as a community where they can make spiritual connection.

The following paragraph is from The Cultural Creatives, and describes the spirituality that people desire in our culture. The language might by too ‘mystical’ for some Evangelicals, but it is the kind of language being used in our world, and the kind of language Evangelicals need to be comfortable conversing in:

Regardless of the content of your experience, when you begin to wake up, you recognize something as genuine. You don’t wake up to what is false, but always to what is true at a level you never knew before. … And whether it is a fullness, a freshness, an unswerving ‘hereness,’ or any of a thousand other states of being, what matters is that you have arrived, finally, at the radiant center of your own life.

Many people in this world not only don’t see the church as socially relevant, they don’t see it as spiritually relevant. They don’t see it as a place where they can be more in tune with their spiritual selves.

What is the role of the church in helping create this for people? Is it merely through programming for people to have these experiences? (If so, I would say the church as a whole isn’t doing it very well, and many of our programs need to be seriously evaluated.) Is it through pastors serving as guides for people in smaller, more intimate settings? Or is the church simply to equip people to have these experiences on their own? Is it some combination of all three, and if so, where is the balance? I think some of these are questions we need to continually be asking as we try to shape how the church can truly be living water in a spiritually thirsting world.

  • Tim

    John, great thoughts as usual. What caught my eye the most about this post is where you said “The language might by too ‘mystical’ for some Evangelicals”. For me, that pretty much answers the questions that you later posted. I think if the church is going to be spiritually relevant to people outside of the church building they need to be Ok with being mystical…if that makes sense. I guess it just seems to me that a lot of church leaders have a hard time speaking or even conversing about sonething that they cant put a 4 or 5 point message behind, or about something that hasnt been written in a book on the top 20. People are looking for genuine passion no matter how “mystical” it may sound….but thats just what I think.