Christianity is changing.
I’m not talking about Faith and the Good News. That started with Jesus and remains. I’m talking about our interpretation (and in turn) our manifestation of it.
So as part of the family, I decided to write this list for us. Most of the ones that made it have already been discussed among my young Christian friends.
The first resolution is to learn to question things that we're used to, and to be ok with uncomfortable conversation and a difference of opinions.
* As long as those opinions are not based on denying other people's humanity of course.
So really, that's 48 resolutions. Here are the other 47.
Could we agree on 10 at least?
1. Talk to people with disabilities. Learn from them, hear their requests for accessibility. Celebrate their presence, strength, and contribution.
2. If a church pays for the pastor’s new iPhone, it can pay also for a single mother’s babysitter. Say it.😉
3. Stop creating bubbles of ministry where people forget to be normal human beings. And take it easy with the Christian-ese my beloved saints. #PTL
4. Come to Puerto Rico to restore houses with our non-profit (but don’t go back to your churches and ignore the other Latinos next door).
In fact, don't use our brown (gorgeous) faces for an Instagram album highlighting a missionary vacation while ignoring the pain of Central American kids in cages.
5. Stop waving the Israeli or American flag in church. And learn once and for all that the God of Israel loves the Palestinians and the Muslims and the Mexican.
6. Finish the conference era. And when we do have an event, do it for the sake of the people in the crowd not the people on the stage.
7. Welcome the LGBTQ crowd into our churches in exactly the same manner that Jesus would welcome everyone.
Exactly the same.
8. Figure out how to do even fewer announcements on Sunday service (so we can share more honest stories, time of lament, and hopeful testimonies).
9. Serve the poor without having to make a video about how much we serve the poor. And when you do a video, don’t use them as props for sadness but as teachers and overcomers.
10. Start churches that don’t depend on people leaving other churches.
* Actually, find out first if there is a local church that is following Jesus and figure out how to work together.
11. Embrace the “hip and cool” pastors as much as we embrace the “orthodox and wise” (and vice versa).
12. Make WAY more room for women in ministry, leadership, and every single area of influence (inside the church and outside the church).
* Bros, get yours 👆🏽
13. When a leader is struggling, realize that we all struggle, so be as merciful as possible.
14. When a leader falls in sin, realize that they need healing, counseling, therapy, and lots of accountability.
+ If a crime was committed, report it immediately! We shouldn’t shove whatever they did under the rug.
Never, ever, ever, ever, ever.
15. Do less business, but more family. Have less contracts, but more covenants.
16. Turn a few mega-churches into mega homeless shelters.
17. Train good actors for Christian movies. Or just stop doing “Christian movies” all-together. Or do good movies but stop pandering to the Christian crowd.
18. Release people into leadership by actually letting them be leaders. As oppose to telling them they are in "leadership" but not letting them lead anything.
19. Trust the Holy Spirit to pastor people. Also, work on self-control NOT on controlling others. (Read more on getting free from manipulation and control)
20. Stop writing posts about what the church should be doing… and do it yourself already! #SelfAwareness #PrayersAppreciated #JesusHelpCarlos
Dear Church,— Carlos A. Rodríguez (@HappySonship) March 7, 2018
Stop gathering around the name of Jesus while ignoring the ways of Jesus.
Remember the poor.
Visit the prisoner.
Feed the hungry.
Clothe the naked.
Welcome the stranger.
Deliver the oppressed.
Serve the least.
And rise for the marginalized.
He waits for us there.
22. Love people who voted for Donald and/or Hillary.
23. Read and re-read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. So you can discover and re-discover the Jesus of the Gospels.
24. Be honest about how pro-life we are. Pro-babies? Pro-immigrants? Pro-refugees? Pro-the-man-on-death-row-at-this-very-instance?
25. Talk about sex openly and intentionally… the good the bad and the ugly (but mostly the good).
26. Be aware of your privilege. Ask questions. Stop pretending you know everything. Learn from those you assume should be learning from you.
27. Talk about mental health in small groups and get togethers.
28. Don’t use the Bible to support narratives of hate, violence, homophobia and/or misogyny.
29. When you pray out loud in a circle, don’t preach your theology while you’re “praying”… Actually talk to God, and share with others in the conversation.
30. Stop saying you want more community while “investing” 10 hours a day in the artificial communities of social media.
31. Don’t worship the worship musicians.
32. Teach people to get out of debt, as oppose to asking them to trust God by giving extravagant offerings using their credit cards (which gets them into debt).
33. Don’t be a jerk towards #BlackLivesMatter and/or #MeToo. These are human issues. Human lives are affected. Love humans more. Stand for the oppressed!
34. Stop pretending like there is no racism in your churches. Look around and ask:
"How many colors, culture, nationalities am I actually engaging on a weekly basis? And how much platform do they get?"
35. Be more in-tune with the Beatitudes of Jesus than with the American constitution.
36. Stop talking about the blood moons… Forever.
37. Pray for your enemies.
Right now, if you're willing.
38. Deny the illusion of taking over the mountains of influence.
The call is to serve. Strength is in humility. Meekness is the goal.
39. Don’t have long church meetings to pretend that you’re more spiritual or shorter ones to pretend that you’re more relevant. Just do you.
40. Climate change is real. Read about it. Learn about it. And love your neighbor by being part of the solution.
41. Learn from Jewish Rabbis. Love the Jewish people. Reject anti-semitism with passion in your bones. And if anyone ever denies the Holocaust in your church:
42. Also, end the prosperity gospel.
43. Then, stop demonizing those in the prosperity gospel. (Or anybody else in the Body of Christ.)
44. Figure out how to do 42 and 43 at the same time, honestly and honorably.
45. Keep growing the friendship between Methodists, Non-Denominational, Baptists, Catholics, Charismatics (and everyone else in the fam).
Then together, visit a Mosque. Have a meal with a Buddhist. Talk about love with an Atheist.
46. Honor your elders. Honor your elders. Honor your elders.
47. Love people where they’re at, not where they should be.
INCLUDING: everyone who fails in this list.
As a 21 year old pursuing ministry and who often asks “how can we love better”, this list was very impactful. I want to print the list out so I can have the constant reminders. Thank you for your wisdom and advice to build up the next generation.
Actually, these lasts weeks I’ve reading and learning about what I am not doing ‘all right’ in my relationship/communion to God and with others. And its not because i am a bad person, it’s just that I wasn’t aware of it. So, thank you for opening my eyes to some things I didn’t recognize I was doing, others that I have never thought about, and mostly those I wasn’t doing wrong but neither avoiding them to happen
As a 20-year-old youth leader, I come back to this list again and again. I wish more people would see just how good God is, and how we should be sharing that with other people instead of judging/avoiding them. Thank you for this!
I appreciate you sharing this list of points. There are a few things I would love to drill deeper on and flesh out, but all in all I see the intention behind your statements. We do miss a lot of these things and as pastor, I need to do/be better. Thank you for helping me to examine my life as an ambassador for Jesus. These healthy challenges are needed for all of us who truly want to live this out. Peace