Talking to a pastor friend the other day, I heard a familiar frustration. If you talk to any pastor or bible teacher you’ll hear this same frustration. Trying to communicate the God of the bible to people is never easy, but getting people to endure or even show up for biblical instruction is proving an unscalable mount. Even the biggest and most successful mega churches have not been able to solve the problem.
The consistent lack of time response, from a people who are being offered eternal life, suggests a need for critical reflection. It suggests a need for a more basic shift in thinking and not simply a better appeal. The feelers we put out to entice people to come to bible study isn’t working, and all indications are, it won’t. The people with whom we labor certainly have God in their lives, but that just may be the problem.
For too many, God, and by extension church, are a part of our life’s routine. He is apart of our life’s composition; apart of our culture and our world. He completes an otherwise full and busy life. He is knit into the fabric of our lives but only as a large piece of the tapestry that is our life.
The irony is that a god, any god, must by nature be bigger than a background, unless it is an idol. An idol can be relegated to wherever you put it. It stays in the compartment it’s assigned. If there is a god, however, then by nature he must be too big to compartmentalize.
Certainly the Lord God of the Bible, our creator, cannot be relegated to fitting into the lives of people. You just can’t schedule the creator of time. Our lives must fit into the tapestry of His being. We must find a place in His life. This may be the essence of being in Christ. A god who can fit into the background of people’s lives is by definition not God.