Something A Little Different Coming Soon

Jim Wesson

That's what the sign says in front of the church building that is just around the corner from our building. I have no idea what that "something different" is. It may be something that is perfectly legitimate for a "church" to be involved in. What really bothers me, though, is the thinking that this is the way to attract people. You have to offer them something a little different. People today just aren't satisfied with the same old thing. It sounds like what Luke said about the people of Athens when he wrote, "For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing" (Acts 17:21).

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein" (Jeremiah 6:16). Many people don't want the old paths. They want something new: "Something A Little Different."

That's pretty much to be expected from those in the world - those who are not true New Testament Christians. What is really troubling, though, is when members of the Lord's church start reasoning the same way. If we just preach the old Jerusalem gospel to people - the same gospel Peter preached on the day of Pentecost - that doesn't appeal to them. If we want to gain numbers, we've got to offer them something "a little different." When members of the church start reasoning this way, it usually isn't very long before truth takes a back seat to whatever will bring in the most people. Whatever fad or gimmick can be used to attract the masses becomes more important than simply preaching the gospel of Christ, the gospel of which Paul said he was not ashamed (Romans 1:16). Sadly, it seems that more and more members of the church are ashamed of the gospel.

If we have to offer "something a little different" in order to reach people, we'll have to continue to offer them "something a little different" in order to keep them. Before long, the message we preach and practice will be so different from the truth that we will no longer be a church of Christ.

While I wish that our building would be filled to overflowing and that we would baptize a dozen or more people a week, to grow in numbers at the expense of truth is not true growth at all. I deny that the way to reach people is to reach them with something other than the Gospel and then just kind of sneak up on them with the Gospel when they're not expecting it. If people aren't attracted to the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Son of God for their sins, we have nothing else to offer them.

Let's do everything we can to preach the Gospel at every opportunity that presents itself, but let's never resort to offering people "something a little different" just to swell our numbers. A building full of people who have not truly been converted to Christ is nothing more than a building full of people who are still lost. 215 S. Cumberland Ave., PO Box 328, Jacksboro, TN 37757.


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