Christians By Birth

Many folks who attend worship every week are not sure why they keep coming to church. These folks are “Blenders,” as  identified by Gabe Lyons in his book “The Next Christians.”Lyons explains that Blenders inherited their parent’s religion. The faith of Blenders is a bi-product of family identity and not always a personal decision. “Blenders need to ‘fit in’” he goes on. Blenders tend to find local churches that will accommodate them. Blenders are particularly attracted to churches whose highest value is to create acceptance. For these churches creating acceptance trumps making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world. Perhaps the local church that attracts Blenders feels more familiar and comfortable like a favorite pillow or winter coat.

The deeper meaning for the gospel, the urgency of our task, is lost as we “play church” rather than “be the church” (Cecil Williams).

Wayne Jacobsen, who attends many different local church worship services in a year's time says that although many congregations are playing church there are a few that are remembering who they belong to. These local churches are "being the church."

"I visit a couple of dozen different congregations a year that I find are more centered on relationship than religion. Jesus is at the center of their life together, that those who act as leaders are true servants and not playing politics of leadership, and that all are encouraged to minister to one another. I pray that even more of them (local churches) are renewed in a passion for Jesus, a genuine concern for each other, and a willingness to serve the world with God's love. But I think we'd have to admit that these are rare in our communities and many only last for a short span before they unwittingly look to institutional answers for the needs of the body instead of remaining dependent on Jesus."