Last week, I had a wonderfully surreal experience. It being summer, my wife and I attended an outdoor concert by a cover-band named Buck Tucker. Classic Rock-N-Roll poured out across the warm grass as hundreds added their voices to the lead singer’s and we were joined as one on the perfect imitative riffs that buzzed from the guitars. Purple Rain. Sweet Home Alabama. Brown Eyed Girl. They didn’t miss a one.
What is abnormally beautiful about the band is not only are they the best in the Upper Midwest, but of the five talents, four of them comprise part of our church’s worship team and the fifth is a worship Pastor from a Christ-centered church down the road. How lovely was it to have the lead singer – who also happens to be our lead Deacon – welcome the half-drunken crowd by also welcoming his friends, co-workers and church family! (I’m just praying the latter were not part of the first half :)).
What came to mind as my guys played for the huge exuberant party-goers was the Biblical encouragement to be – as is outlined in John 17 and Romans 12 – “in the world but not of the world.” In short, Believers are to go out into the world and show people what real life is all about!
The Buck Tucker Band provided entertainment to the crowd who may or may not have known Jesus. They added happiness to people’s lives for an evenings time. They also brought together our church family who were rubbing elbows with each other and people far from God – providing a message to people that is so lost in our culture that being a Christ-follower is not a cloistered life but an adventure of joy!
How can Christ-followers live in the world but not of the world? A few suggestions come to mind.
- Check your faith. The worst place for an newly recovering alcoholic is in a bar. Some Christ-followers, especially new ones whose faith may be weak for whatever reason, do well to steer clear of situations and experiences that could pull them back into a lifestyle that doesn’t please God. James 4 says to flee the Devil. Whatever the situation, always be walking into it with God.
- Don’t judge those outside the faith. This is a biggie. God calls us throughout the New Testament not to judge those who don’t belong to Him. (Check it out here). We are to hold each other accountable and simply love those who don’t know Jesus as Savior yet.
- Look for opportunities to talk about the Lord and His goodness. Harkening back to Buck Tucker – music is God’s creation. Lucifer takes what God has made and twists it for his evil purposes. But we can redeem it’s purpose by reclaiming it for God. By simply pointing out it’s beauty and how it is a gift from the Lord, others will take notice. (If you want to find out more about picking good music with your kids, click here).
- Remember who you are. Unless you sit on top of a 40 foot pole or move to the outer parts of the Himalayas, you are going to circle around with people who need Christ. Remember that He loves you enough to save you and make you part of His family. You have an identity. You have a name. The same is available for those who are spinning out of control. You have a story and that story is a perfect tool to use to share with others about the amazing love of Christ!
If they ever cut an album, I want to be the first on their list. But for now, I’ll remember the witness they gave me of being in the world but not of it. Thanks guys!
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