You may not know this, but the star of Pure Country, George Strait and I share birthdays. I have long been a fan of his music. Yesterday, for some strange reason I started thinking about his movie Pure Country and started relating it to life. I watched it again last night to make sure I had remembered it correctly. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll give you the cliff notes version. Dusty, played by George, was a superstar country singer who had worked his way to the top after starting in dive bars in Texas. Although he had it all, he began to hate the very things that he use to enjoy. His whole performance had turned into lights, smoke, and fireworks. At his breaking point, he had actually quit singing during his last song and no one noticed. He was troubled by what he had become. So he took a walk…
I’ve had more a than a dozen conversations with people recently who have felt something is missing from churches. The interesting thing is that these churches are spread out to different states, different countries, and different denominations. Seemingly, churches have it all right now, in America. We have big buildings, high powered speakers, big budgets, smoke, lights, the best bands, and still something is missing. We have all the resources we need, but we aren’t really making a huge kingdom impact. How can this be possible? Do we as the church need to take a walk…
Ask yourself these questions right now about the church you attend:
- Is Satan scared of my church? (meaning are we regularly taking ground from him)
- Does Satan mind that we gather weekly, sing songs, or hear a sermon?
- Are lives being transformed by the preaching of the word? (Do you hear regularly of people being set free? When was the last time that you heard anyone was set free?)
- Is discipleship part of your DNA or a side program?
- Is there real evidence for love of God and love for others besides talk?
- Are you encouraged to go evangelize or are you encouraged to go get more people in the building?
The church is doing a lot of good things, maybe even the right things, but somehow in the process we have become powerless and lifeless. Sadly, we look dangerously close to 2 Timothy 3:1-7. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling every believer and we have the Word of God that is “Living and active. (Hebrews 4:12)” If they are at our disposal and we have access to power, why do so many bemoan that something is missing?
When George Strait’s character took a walk, he went back to his roots. He visited his grandmother. He went back to that dive bar. He went to a ranch and fell in love. He was able to weed out all the things he was doing and get back to the very things he loved to do. He remembered that he liked to sing and play the guitar. The movie wrapped up in Vegas where he sits on the edge of the stage, just him and his guitar, and sings. He kept wondering, would anyone buy that? This may be overly simplified, but the church ought to ask themselves the very same question?
Would anyone come to our church if we removed all the fluffy extra-biblical stuff and went back to our early church roots? I’m afraid many church doors would close permanently if they did such a thing. But were they really a church that honored God anyway, or were they simply pleasing themselves? I believe Jesus is calling us to take a walk with Him. Find out what He likes and what glorifies the Father. But I’m not going to answer that for you, you must search the Scriptures for yourself. I believe you will be surprised at what you find. I have been searching and discovering crazy new things in the search. My heart always seemed to know and my head is finally catching up. Let’s walk with Jesus by faith, you won’t be sorry you did.
Grace and Peace to you as you relearn to walk with Jesus.
P.S. Don’t show this to your pastor unless you have prayed diligently about it and searched your heart for pure motives. This is meant to encourage, not tear down. Only share out of a heart of love for God and others.