Substance over surface, every time, without fail, no exceptions.
This month our theme is discipleship.
2000 and teens - A time where it has become completely acceptable and even something to strive for to be able to make a living off merely your image (the surface).
Have you ever seen someone's Facebook or Instagram and thought to yourself "they've got it all together" only to find out later that it was all just a show?
It is now normal for YouTube, instagram, Snapchat, and even TV stations to pay people purely for being popular, rather than talented, hard working or entertaining.
Don't believe me? Pop into the YouTube search bar: "lil pump, d-rose" and tell me I'm wrong.
2000 and teens, no substance all surface so that's what the people want right?
Just this week I had a life changing conversation with God, we attended a heartbreaking funeral, as the loving father lay his baby girl down at her grave, my heart broke, for a friend, for a baby girl, for a father and a mother. I stood amongst family and friends, hearts broken and love and care at an all time high, God reminded me to keep a soft heart, care for people, be compassionate, empathetic and most of all, love people.
Nowadays people chase surface for the hope of substance beneath, but they stay for the real, authentic relationships or the "substance".
People follow a celebrity because they are cool, but they only keep following if they can see authenticity behind them.
I'm guilty of this, I don't follow KimK or instagram models, rather bmxriders and pastors because I like what I see on the surface, but I don't keep following them unless the substance (the content) that they provide is what I want.
We would be absolutely stupid to cater to the "surface" only when what we really want is the "substance".
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Revelation 3:15-16 NIV
Here's what I think, the church should be attractive to people, but never at the cost of substance, and decisions should always be made with substance over surface.
Authentic, real discipleship should always take precedent over perfect music, lighting and microphone transitions.
Words like "Pastoral care", "discipleship" or "connect groups" don't do it justice.
Love people like family, be there for them, praise with them, grieve with them, celebrate with them and challenge them on bad attitudes, and let them do the same to you.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17 NIV
We should champion the mistakes, champion the wins, challenge sin, deal with hurt and all that comes when you love people, not pretend love but real love.
Chase excellence, but don't ever forget that we are here on this earth and in church for people, and what we will leave on this earth is not the reputation of a seamless church service, but a whole bunch of lives either better or worse for you being there.
Make it better.
Make this your church creed, substance over surface, every time, without fail, no exceptions.
That's what people need.
- Daniel Power