Being a single guy, it is not an odd thing for someone to ask me, ‘so when are you gonna settle down?’ Many of my single friends get the question constantly from their families and friends. Some get set up on dates and others get pre-registered for dating websites. I know our loved ones mean well. I am one of the lucky ones…people know the importance of my work and the number of hours it requires. So I only get the question a couple of times a month, usually from folks just wanting an update on my life. Even then, it can be a lot of pressure.
So in the moment when I am asked about my dating status, I have to be nice. These people love me, they want me to be happy. And surely, only married people are truly happy in this world right? I smile and say “no…not yet,” and hope we move on to some other topic. But if I was a good Christ-follower who spoke the truth in love, I would say, “Really, you want me to be like you…married, mundane and miserable? Sorry…I’ll stay single.” I know marriage is difficult, and I do not mean to make light of it. But if people are going to be so encouraging about me entering into it, the least they could do is genuinely like it themselves. If marriage is so awesome, then why do so many married people become so boring two years in…there is nothing remotely attractive about that. But this post is really not about marriage and singleness.
The hardest part about inviting people to join churches and explore faith in Christ is that so many Jesus-people live such small lives. My non-Christian friends look at their Christian friends and simply find them boring. And the hype does not help. The church services that feel like night-clubs do not help. The Christ-followers who can get drunk and it is okay does not help. In fact, they see through our apparent ‘non-judgmental’ facade and realize that we are actually afraid to say what we really think. Generally speaking, our mega churches (and our small churches) are full of people living far too small lives.
My friend Chris Bolla is going on an adventure that down right makes me jealous. And I just read today about a guy who literally walked across America. Steve Jobs lived a life worth talking about. For that matter, so did the Apostle Paul. I wish I could say that the most vibrant people on the planet were Christ-followers. If the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, then we SHOULD be able to say that. I think we settled for a reasonable, bland, and normal life. And we wonder why non-believers would rather go sky-diving than follow the Creator of the Universe?
My argument is simple (although not simplistic). We cannot expect our non-believing friends and family members to be interested in living for Jesus when we do not look very interested in it ourselves. In John 10:10, Jesus said He came to give us abundant life. I would suggest that many in our churches might not have received this memo.