I decided to take on the six megathemes of this year as listed by the Barna Group. The second is "Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented."
Yup, color me guilty.
Here's just one little thought before I deal with myself. Considering how many churches now focus on a "seeker-sensitive" service, you would think that more people would make the effort to invite others to church. I would think it would defeat the purpose of being "seeker-sensitive" if the members don't bring any "seekers" to whom the church should be "sensitive." Just saying.
I know that as a home educating parent, I often paint myself as I did when I attended a Christian high school. It seems that we're in a "Christian bubble." We are surrounded by mostly fellow believers. Church. Co-op. Gymnastics. Etc. It's very easy to become "ingrown."
Don't get me wrong, we get "socialized" alright, but unless I make the effort to think about it, it all gets very academic. Let's "git 'er done."
Maybe it's only because of my personality type. This "type-A" or choleric person that I am wants to get things done. Thankfully, I'm enough of a sanguine to also want to have fun doing it, but I do have a tendency to put things and the order of things before people. I've been working on this problem for fourt...well, let's just say a long time.
But this tendency makes me get the ballet class done and leave. Go to the museum and see what pertains to our lesson and leave. Wait for my daughter in gymnastics and leave. I admit that making an effort to reach out to those around me is not usually my first instinct or action. Shame on me and shame on the example I set.
Thankfully, my daughter's extroverted, sanguine nature knows no stranger. The first thing she thinks about are the people involved. Now all I need to do is to help her channel that for God's service.
Maybe I should make that the goal of the activity, write it down on my lesson plan, and it might actually get done!
Barna Group includes this comment, "...most Americans are unimpressed with the contributions Christians and churches have made to society over the past few years."
I find that interesting.
We have Christian hip-hop, Christian coffee houses, Christian dinner theater, Christian heavy metal, Christian movies, Christian health clubs, et. al. You mean we have all this and we're not making contributions to society? Hmmm. It almost sounds like it's the opposite. Like the world is making "contributions" to Christendom. Or maybe it's all part of the "ingrowth." I know one thing for sure and that to figure it out is beyond my pay! :-)
I will say, however, that I do see home education making a contribution to society. Ivy league universities are courting home schooled students. Groups like Generation Joshua are helping to train our youth to be politically active. I've seen home schooled students helping with food pantries or animal shelters. Home schoolers are making contributions to society, and I think that is the reason, in part, why the negative stereotypes of home schoolers are disappearing more and more.
And talk about "contributions to society"! I definitely think that is a definition well suited to a person who was home educated! My child will be a "contribution to society".
So, I think this whole trend comes down to the fact that we need to be witnesses of Christ to this world in word and deed.
Let me go write that down in my planner before I forget......
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