Are Christians Pitching the Message too Low?

When I planted a church in Utah, a denominational leader came to visit. He told me that people do not need in-depth preaching. He said young Christians just need to be given simple messages that require little preparation. He said, “They don’t need any depth. They just need a simple message.”

Recently, I was driving one of my daughters to a doctor’s appointment. I was listening to Francis Chan preach and he mentioned doubts. My daughter was listening in the back seat and said, “Dad, I know what he means about doubts, because I have doubts.”
I paused Francis Chan and asked her what she meant. She said, “I’m not sure if what I believe is true.”
“Well,” I said, “what makes you think that?”
“I just don’t know if what the Bible says is true and if those things really happened. Sometimes I am just not sure. I need some facts.”
“What do you mean by facts?” I asked.
“Well, like how do we know Jesus really lived on earth?”
“That is a really good question,” I said. “And we always should be willing to ask questions like that. And the good thing is those questions have answers.”
“Really?”
“Yes,” I said.
And I spent the next thirty minutes explaining the case for Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. At the end of the discussion, she said, “Yeah, those are the facts I was looking for.”
My daughter is 8.

Here is my point. People don’t need a shallow presentation of the Christian message.
One of the things that drives me is the fact that I keep meeting people who have left the church. I keep meeting people “who used to be” Christians. I keep meeting people who are disappointed because they came to believe the Christian message had no answers.
I really feel for these people because I grew up on a lot of teaching that was answering questions I was not asking. I feel for these people because I’m tired Christianity hanging out in the “kiddie pool” of thought. I do not want a shallow existence. I am not satisfied with life in the shallow end.
It is no wonder the world does not take us seriously.
It is no wonder that when the world wants answers, it does not go to the church.
70-80% of young people who attend church will leave church when they enter their 20s. The ironic thing is that they loved their church experience, but as they grew up they found the church to not have the answers to real intellectual questions.
Isn’t the great commission about teaching making disciples and teaching them to obey all that Christ commanded? All that He commanded.
I fear that the church is pitching its message to low. While our society becomes more sophisticated, more intelligent, more knowledgeable, and more empty, we offer little substance to answer the deepest questions of the human heart.
If all we have to offer is simplistic drivel, I think it is time to pack up and go home.
Nothing to see here.
Just keep moving.
I think we sell Christians and non-Christians short when we pitch the message low. And, all of you who listen to messages each Sunday ought to be offended if you are getting simplistic platitudes without real substance.
Every time we deliver the message, whether preaching and teaching or in every day conversation, it should be deep enough to feed the most seasoned Christian, clear enough to challenge the newest Christian, and prepared enough to give answers to the questions people are actually asking.

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2 Responses to “Are Christians Pitching the Message too Low?”

  1. Monica says:

    i believe that i am living testimony to what you are saying. I know that I am forever grateful that u were the Pastor who was at CBF when I started attending there. I had a lot of questions and a very bad attitude about Christians, Christianity and CHRIST. I was a very misinformed woman with not a whole lot of answers. Your in depth studies and messages were exactly what I needed. I completely understand that a person needs to open there heart and their ears and be willing to listen. But if the person relaying the message is not informed enough to have a courageous conversation and answer the difficult questions many will just walk away and continue to be a wanderer looking for answers to satisfy the soul

    • admin says:

      Appreciate the testimony. We should never be afraid of the questions our world has. We need open, intelligent discussions. Without them, the world will continue to marginalize people of faith. They have real questions and they deserve real answers.

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