On June 4 my family and I landed in Newark, New Jersey from whirlwind tour of England and Scotland. The focus of the trip was church history, but it really was a history of men being radical followers of Christ who lead others to do the same.
The trip was billed and outlined to give an overview of the formations of the Baptist church. Yes there were the visits to the large cathedrals, but that was not the most thrilling part. The best part was being reminded that the motivation behind the beginnings of the Baptist movement was men wanting to be radical followers of Jesus Christ. “Surrendering to a call to be radical followers of Jesus Christ.” For these men it was all about making their relationship with God personal and not ritual. Their desire for this type of relationship was contagious and their challenge to others to do the same started a movement.
Our worship and walk with Christ is personal and when we follow Christ we are often seen as radical.
The challenge for me is to remember that church can easily slip into ritual when we make it about the ‘church’ and not about God and a relationship with Him. ‘Church’ can easily be transformed into programs that become sacred instead of the sacred being the ‘awe’ of God. ‘Church’ can easily be consumed by honoring the buildings of honoring God in the buildings.
The guard against ritual in processes or pride in things is to remember the mission: ‘glorifying God and making radical disciples.’