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You know what I hear a lot?

“I love Jesus but I hate organized religion.”

Do you know how much I hate that statement? I don’t think I can adequately express how much I truly dislike that statement.

But at least it’s honest.

And when I look at organized religion today (yes I’m talking about the church YOU serve in too), I don’t like it a whole lot either. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in it and I think it can be more of what it needs to be, but right now, as a whole, the Church is failing.

Do me a favor and read Acts 4. Yes the whole chapter. I’m a sucker for context.

Done? Good.

Did you catch verse 16?

16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it.

They (talking about the Apostles Peter and John) had performed a notable sign and they (the Sanhedrin) knew that no one could deny it.

These people who were calling themselves this new word “church” had done something good and the educated people of the day could not explain it away. A crippled had been healed. A man that was over 40 who had been lame his entire life had been (by the power of the name of Jesus) healed.

I want to live a life where people say, “I love Terry because of the God that he serves.”

I want to be a part of a church where people say, “I love that church because of the God that they serve.”

I want to be the citizen of a country where people say, “I love the USA because of the God they serve.”

Am I a dreamer? Maybe so.

But I’m tired of people giving the Church a bad name. And I’m talking about the people in the church. Why can’t we, as the church, be more like Christ and be more worried about serving than getting?

It’s time for the church to start doing things that are unexpected.

It’s time for the church to start doing things that make people say, “Wow, I didn’t know they had it in them.”

What about you?

Do you think the Christian church as a whole can regain a positive reputation? Or have we trod on our reputation for too long?

Are you willing, like I am, to do all you can to make sure the people in your town see your church as a light rather than a punch line?

Let’s do this.