One of the questions that I have asked people for many years is, “What value is there to being a Christian”? When I used to consult with businesses, we often talked about value propositions, i.e. what value did a particular product or service provide to a prospective consumer. Those discussions always forced us to think about how the consumer viewed things. Many times, the things that my clients thought were really important weren’t perceived that way by the potential consumer.
I think we may have some of that same disconnect going on when we think about the value of our own belief in Christ. How would you explain the value proposition of following Christ? If your first thought is “eternal life”, or “peace and joy”, you are thinking the way most people have when asked that question. I would like to challenge you. Who do you know in today’s instant gratification culture who highly values something they get when they die? And can you explain “peace and joy” in a way that is concrete and compelling? No wonder we don’t feel too confident about spiritual leadership, we struggle to explain the value of our own belief to others and even to ourselves.
It’s not that those things aren’t part of the value proposition for belief, it’s just that they are not near the top of the list in today’s culture. I have come up with 4 things that I think are compelling in today's culture.
My first is the Loving Acceptance of God. So much of our culture today is looking for acceptance. A place to belong. One of the major reasons people give for not going to church is that they are afraid they will be “judged”. That’s short for not being accepted. How many sons are looking for the acceptance of their fathers? Kids are looking for acceptance from their peers. Outsiders looking for acceptance from insiders. Romans 15:7 says, “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” We have the loving acceptance of God himself! Three more to come later.
Coach Clay Dewees