Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm Not Cool

Hat tip to Jonathan Leeman and the Nine Marks Blog for posting some great quotes from James Gilmore. Gilmore authored the book Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want. I have not read the book but am eager to. This is a hot topic today. It is funny that when you meet a Muslim Imam or a Buddhist monk you think of a holy man but when you meet a Baptist minister you often are left with an impression of a salesman or marketer. My ecclesiastical tradition has become obsessed with being cool and sadly such attempts just come off as desperate, cheesy, or cheap imitation (case in point). Some people are sucked in to this approach to ministry- mainly perpetually whiny Christians, but not usually lost people. Listen, I am not cool. I know it and I own it. Furthermore, we aren’t called to be cool and relevant. We are called to be faithful… faithful to living and proclaiming God’s Word. So anyway, Gilmore’s thoughts struck a nerve. Here are some of his quotes from an interview by Leadership Journal

  • "As a business guy, I'm always cautious about taking any business thinking and applying it to the church...To me, the church should not aim to be 'real' as an end. The church is there to proclaim truth. Trying to be hip and cool and real does a disservice to the church. We're not called to be successful. We're called to be obedient, even if they don't come."
  • "If somebody doesn't find you objectionable, I wonder if you're preaching the full counsel of God."
  • "If you truly see people, that comes off as real. If you love, you will automatically come off as real. You don't need to strive to be real."
  • "Real is telling people about their sin and their need for repentance and their need for a Savior."
  • "Read my book to understand the culture that you're preaching to, not as an operating model for your church.

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