I went to Abilene Texas to visit Beltway Park Baptist Church in January with 7 other Messianic leaders. We went to spend time with Pastor David McQueen and his leadership team/staff. It was an amazing trip on so many levels (read about it here). Pastor David has relationships with many Messianic leaders and has great insight into our community and leadership in general. He made a statement concerning Messianic leaders that has stuck with me. He said, "It seems to me that unless an idea is Jewish in its inception many Messianic leaders will not consider using it." Boom! I have found this true, even in myself, far too often.
Ideas are not legitimate/illegitimate because of who/where they come from. Great ideas and bad ideas come from everywhere. In particular, the Church has so much to offer Messianic Judaism. I know, "They don't get us" or "They are theologically opposed to us". I know. But, that shouldn't keep the Messianic Movement from using great ideas that come from the Church, especially when it comes to reaching people through culture and working to reach this present generation. We make statements like "Well, that works for them but Jewish people are different." Are we so sure we get our own people? Sometimes I think we forget that people are people. We are all affected by culture. We all have the same hurts and pains. We all need the same Yeshua (salvation).
I recently had coffee with Pastor Joe Fuiten from Cedar Park Church in Seattle. He is an incredibly gracious and well-rounded charismatic pastor. He made some observations that were fantastic. I asked him for some tips on congregational growth. He said, "Messianic's have a tendency to think that growth will/and should come from the specific message you offer. But, real growth will come from people having encounters with God." Shazam!
I believe in what I preach. I believe that we need to restore the Jewishness of the Gospel. I believe Messianic Judaism is an end-time fulfillment of prophecy. But, if people's lives are not changing, who cares? If people are not having encounters with the God of Israel, Yeshua, our Messiah, why does any of it matter?
I am grateful to these two men of God and the time they gave me. Let's be real, Messianic Judaism isn't working in my generation. The message isn't the problem. Yeshua is still king over all the earth. Perhaps some of the things we hold to as "this should never change" or "but that's how we have always done it" are actually holding us back from doing our part to build the Kingdom of God?
What do you think?
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