January 19

1 Corinthians 1:18-24

“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” vs. 18

Some years ago a new kind of evangelism strategy evolved in an effort to attract the large numbers of people who had come to be known as “searchers.” There was little concern about liturgy or creeds in worship. Instead there was a focus on music, not the old chorales, but adaptations of what were called “praise” songs, quick-paced and repetitive tunes without much depth. Bands were brought into the worship space and highly skilled musicians would lead the singing from a well-lit stage. Altars disappeared and holy communion along with them, as the focus of worship shifted from participation to performance. In some churches the changes also meant a decreasing emphasis on crosses–they would no longer be the focus of worship. Surveys showed that “searchers” found them depressing! To some extent the trends are understandable. If evangelism is seen as marketing there’s no doubt that a message centering on suffering and death is a hard sell. That’s certainly what Paul discovered in the course of his ministry among the Gentiles. But Paul didn’t back down–he didn’t care if his message about the cross was foolishness, he kept on proclaiming it anyway. Why? In his words, it was “the power of God.” And it was that message that was the core of the most effective evangelism strategy the church has ever known.

Thought for the Day: Why is the message of the cross so powerful?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s