Mark Beeson on Making Jesus Boring

In this continuing series, Mark Beeson answers the question that haunts many mainline denominational churches. This is a Q&A from the July/August 2007 issue of Good News Magazine (GNM).

GNM: How do you attract so many seekers and young people?

Mark Beeson: I read a recent survey reports most Americans believe the “most boring place to be” is church. It may have taken us 2000 years to get here, but we’ve done it. We have made the winsome and wonderful Jesus boring. Jesus was a people-magnet. People loved Him. They made astounding efforts to be near Him, to hear Him and to receive His touch. He most often taught as a response to the inquiries of his students. People asked him questions and he responded with God’s Truth. It makes me ask:

  • Is it possible that we have designed church services and protocols that do more to keep people from Jesus than to bring them near?
  • Have we cloaked Jesus in vestments that hide Him, or in truth that reveals Him?
  • Do our songs, medias and dramas illustrate His goodness, compassion and majesty, or veil him with antiquated colloquialisms?

At Granger, we use the arts to illustrate the questions posed in contemporary culture and then we teach God’s Truth regarding those topics. We understand people want:

… to hear about the most important issues of the day.
… a place they don’t have to check their lives (and issues) at the door.
… to see Jesus, not go to church.
… help, not just entertainment.
… honesty, even if that involves Mystery.
… the Truth, even if it hurts.
… to be loved right where they are.

And, we do love them right where they’re at…we just love them too much to leave them there. It’s an experience they can’t get anywhere else. It creates buzz and people tell their friends.

What could be better for reaching young people than that?

Previously, I reprinted Mark Beeson's answers to these questions...

  1. Monday: What specifically sparked the vision to plant Granger Community Church?
  2. Monday: After twenty years of growth, what are the key ingredients to see a ministry expand?
  3. Tuesday: What are the largest obstacles to church growth?
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