Knock. Knock. Knock. “Hi, my name is Ben and we’re out in the community inviting people to church.”
“Well, thanks but I already go to ______ Baptist Church.”
“Oh! Hey, is it alright if I ask you a question, too? If you were to die tonight, and God asked you, why should I let you into heaven, what would you say?”
“Well, I try to live right and obey the Bible.”
A few doors later…
One year ago today, the four of us agreed to partner together and start the Pursuing the Pursuer blog, and we have thoroughly enjoyed the journey! At the outset, we committed to pursuing four things: 1) Pursuing Balance - we are committed to comparing every tradition, reaction, and fad against the truths of Scripture. Only when you are grounded in Scripture will you find the balance that guards against the constant pendulum swing of our culture. 2) Pursuing Accountability - we recognize that we are four young guys with very little experience, so we committed to being accountable to each other with each post we write by reviewing, critiquing, revising, and polishing each other's work. We hope that this process keeps less (not all) youthful mistakes from entering the blogosphere. 3) Pursuing Clarity - We try to stay away from being a "click-bait" blog. We want to rely on Scripture's clarity rather than our own creativity, and so we have committed to basing every article we write on Scriptural truth. 4) Pursuing Hope - Ultimately, we want to proclaim the incredible hope we have in Jesus Christ. Our world is full of pain and sorrow, and people are looking for answers. We are convinced that Scripture has the answer to all of life's questions, and we want this blog to be a channel of hope for those who seek it.
So, without further ado, here are the 10 most-read articles from our first year with PtP (a.k.a. the 10 articles that were read by people other than our moms and best friends). We hope you are challenged, instructed, and encouraged as we continue our pursuit of the Pursuer.
They say third time’s a charm. Well it was four trips to the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles, it’s an Indiana/Maine/Ohio thing apparently) until I got everything taken care of. On the first trip, I hadn’t checked on what I needed, and so I found out that what I had thought would be enough wouldn’t be close. Second time I thought I had everything, but found out one of the documents I had brought wouldn’t work. Third time, same thing. Finally, on my fourth try, I got an Indiana license and the title on my car transferred and registered. That’s not even taking into account the document I had to mail back to my parents so they could fill something out and send it back, the time I got everything together to realize they were closed on Monday, the conflicting things I was told by different workers, or the fact my registration had expired so I couldn’t even drive my car and had to have a police officer come over and check my VIN. I started going to different BMVs because it got embarrassing going back to the same one over and over.
Every year the Barna Research group does a “State of the Church.” In the 2016 edition the report states “Americans are attending church less, and more people are experiencing and practicing their faith outside of its four walls. Millennials in particular are coming of age at a time of great skepticism and cynicism toward institutions—particularly the church.” The number one reason Millennials don’t attend church, according to another study, was “I find God elsewhere.”
We live in a time when there is a declining interest in church--a time where many think they can have a relationship with God, but not be involved in a church. People drop out of church for many reasons, but God’s Word makes it clear that we never have an excuse to give up on the church. Here are four bad reasons why people give up on church:
When you hear “repentance,” what do you think of? Often we mean little more than reading off our list of bad actions so that God will forgive us. Perhaps we go a little bit deeper and acknowledge our wrong thoughts as well. Both of those are good, but they’re not enough. Do your prayers go down to the level of your heart, not just your head and hands?
Do you share with God your hopes, dreams, disappointments, and feelings? Do you ever admit to God that you’re depressed because you didn’t get what you want? Or that you are frustrated because someone failed to recognize you publicly? Have you ever told God that you didn’t feel like going to church Sunday evening, or that you’re scared to share the gospel with your co worker?
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