What Would Jesus Study?

I sit here in a cyber cafe in New Orleans. I am here on a mission trip for my youth group. I sat last night and listened to a man talk about what went into planting a church here in New Orleansn, and he went throught demogrpahic studies and average income and all that. He is a very Godly man, and an extremely intelligent one at that. Still, as I sat and listened to him talk, one thought kept going through my head. Is this what Jesus would do?

What would Jesus do in order to plant a church? If he was just like you and me. I don't know that he would do a demographic study and average income and all these things that church planters do. He would not care if the people he was trying to reach were black and he was white. Or if they were mostly senior adults and he was a college student. He would not study how other churches have done it and what makes them "succesfull" I don't think he would care about all that. He knew the power of the message that he brought and so he could go and speak the truth and people would listen. "Times have changed" you cry, and they have. But the message that we bring has not. It is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

What if Jesus had done this before beginning his earthly ministries. All the statistics would have told him not to do it. He was going to a people that were expecting something else. Something to conform to the ideas they had about a Messiah. He was going to people who were poor and pushed around by the Romans. A smart person would have gone to the Romans, converted them, and then had them convert the Jews. Go to the people with influence. He was going to a people with an already established religion, and he wanted them to see something new. Then he would have the audacity to convert gentiles when he himself was a Jew?

This seems so absurd to us, and many of you are rising out of your seats in protest. I do not wish to bash any of these things, just to make a point. All of it comes down to this. We must believe in the power of the gospel. We must believe that the message we hear will overcome all boundaries. We must push the idea of the church as a business right out the door. We must simply love people and proclaim to them the gospel.

Father, help me to believe that your word is all I need. Make me depend on it for all my needs. Make me a fool for you, when the world tells me that it can't be done, help me to depend on you. Show us the power of your word. Show us the power of your son on the cross. Thank you for the powerful message of your love.

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