UnChristian-3, Honest Hypocracy
In the book, UnChristian, The #1 complaint that research found that the "outsider" had with the Christian Church and more specifically with Christians was that we are HYPOCRITICAL! As I read the research and records, I can't say I disagree with some of the perception. To summarize, the "outsiders" say that most Christian don't walk the talk, or practice what we preach. They claim our actions don't line up with our message.
It is not so much that our culture has rejected our message (which many are still very resistant even with an adequate witness), but that they cannot embrace the messenger. Let me suggest 2 ways to bridge that gap:
1. Be Honest About Your Struggles: It is because of your struggles, weaknesses, and imperfections that you came to Jesus in the first place. Allow the hurts, hang-ups, and habits to share the story of how/why you came to faith in Jesus. People are right: WE DON'T HAVE IT ALL TOGETHER! That's the whole point. We are broken, that's why we need Jesus power at work in us.
2. Point People to the Person of Jesus, not Religious Organizations: Jesus is the lover of our souls!!! What "outsiders" need more than anything is a personal encounter with the Resurrected Savior. Talk about your relationship with Jesus and cultivate that relationship with Jesus. You can't share what you don't have.
Finally, it is the Holy Spirit's job to cause hearts to turn to Jesus, not yours or mine. Often times I view my personal role in God's work is simply not getting in the way or hindering what God's Spirit is doing. Jesus' prayer was to send laborer to bring in the harvest. God grows and ripens, we just pick what He's done.
Sooooo.... Let's be Honest about our Hypocracy and enter into an authentic spiritual dialogue with those who are searching for some real answers. My prayer is that God will help you do what only you can do, and share what only you can share. God Bless!!!