Let me give you the bottom line first and then I will unpack the meaning for this post.
The bottom line is that if a church wants to impact a community—IT TAKES WORK.
For far too long the church has been lazy, that’s right, LAZY. We have sat back on our butt and done nothing, asking God to “do it all” and claiming to be “led by the Spirit.” And then people walk into our boring, lifeless and predictable services and we give “God all the glory” (or the blame!)
One of the things I have realized in reading Scripture though is that Jesus was far from boring—He created experiences for His followers—experiences that they NEVER forgot…do you remember…
- Jesus walking on water…don’t think for a minute that Peter didn’t think about that moment every time he walked by a lake.
- The mount of transfiguration. Peter & John were both so blown away by this that they both wrote about it in Scripture.
- The feeding of the 5,000.
- The day of Pentecost in Acts 2
- Bringing back Lazarus from the dead.
- Turning water into wine (the Baptist hate that one!)
I could go on—the bottom line is that Jesus was constantly creating experiences that communicated to His followers who He was in a way that they would never forget…
AND THE CHURCH SHOULD BE DOING THE SAME!!!
I have heard many people say that our process leaves no room for the Holy Spirit, and that we are not “open”, but let me say this everyone: take a moment to think…. Are you blaming your laziness and lack of preparation on the Holy Spirit?? One of the things that we have discovered here at Oasis is that the Holy Spirit is always at work and NOT just on Sundays—but during sessions where ideas are brainstormed and well thought out and in planning meetings and in staff meetings and in leadership equipping meetings such as “empower”.
If you attend Oasis—let me make you a promise: We take church seriously. Everything you see is done with a purpose. We are serious about Jesus and serious about as many people as possible meeting Him. And because of that fact, we are willing to do all that we can to reach those people!
It is our desire NOT to just have a church service—but to create an EXPERIENCE through song, video, messages and any other tools that the Holy Spirit might choose to place in front of us.
Sure—we’ve been accused of entertaining people, I would much rather entertain you than bore you! Jesus didn’t mind creating experiences, and His church shouldn’t either.
We know GOD is in charge—that HE is ultimately responsible for all that is happening, but we also understand that God works THROUGH people and that He is honored when people plan, pray, work and then sit back and watch Him make up the difference.
We are serious about making His name famous and that just can’t happen when church is boring. (I believe a boring church is a sin!!!) SO, we are going to always do all we can to make sure that when you attend church on Sunday—that is the BEST time of your week!!!
Seriously—I believe people should look more forward to church more than they do Duck Dynasty, a football game, or The Walking Dead! There’s something…. Those shows actually put hard work and effort into their programming and it shows! Hmmm, maybe if the church was as serious as Hollywood in reaching people we would be reaching people!
Hollywood has discovered something that the church runs from though, it takes work to create an experience that people will remember.
There are some things we will never apologize for, reaching people is by far at the top of the list!
I thank God for the influences in my life such as Ed Young, Chris Hodges, Perry Noble, Craig Groeschel and countless others of pastors who have blazed the trail and encouraged me not to prostitute the vision God has given by compromising this Kingdom vision!
Change will always be a constant at Oasis as we will always be constantly changing our methods to reach an every changing culture!
Thank you Oasis family for joining us on this movement as we continue to impact the Gulf Coast for Jesus!