We’ve all heard those familiar words, “I’ve got some good news, I’ve got some bad news, which do you want to hear first?” My response is always; “give me the bad news first”. I’m sure there is a psychological reason I choose “bad” first, but I don’t know what it is.
So what is the “bad news” of church planting? Isn’t it still that we are helplessly, hopelessly lost – you, me and every other soul on our planet? That we have, indeed, “gone our own way”? That we have intentionally walked away from our Creator? That we purposely choose to rebel and live outside the boundaries God has built into our personal and communal lives to protect us?
I’ve been overwhelmed by the “bad” news lately, which is probably why I’m writing about it right now. Politicians, sports figures, entertainers and regular Joe’s and Jane’s are making really bad decisions and acting in a way that fly’s in the face of God’s rule and reign. Actually, I still make bad decisions that do that! As I read the Old Testament Prophets, their message, and the typical response from it’s hearers, it makes more sense to me now because our world is responding in similar fashion – no thanks God, we’ve got it covered!
I just drove 600 miles with my brother yesterday and we listened to a lot of radio I ordinarily don’t listen to. While channel surfing, I came across a station playing a sermon preached by an ultra conservative, I typically don’t listen to. You’d know his name if I said it. He was preaching through Romans 1 – talk about bad news! Candidly, as he finished, this thought crossed my mind; every church planter should communicate the same message to their church plant often – modern day prophets. Because, the truth of the really bad news we are all a part of, provides the reality of the context the Gospel thrives in.
Church planting is primarily communicating good news in a bad news context, right? It is communicating the real Jesus of the Gospel record. In fact, the Gospel is not just some idea or set of beliefs – Jesus Christ is the “Gospel” – the good news. Isn’t that the very core of church planting? Good news overcoming bad news?