The church is a place where grace must abound if we want to live in true unity. It should be a place where people feel safe to bring their struggles and sorrows, yet many people (with good reason) do not feel safe at church. It should be a place where we escape the cultural binds of political tribalism, sexism, racism, and bigotry, but instead the church is becoming a place that is being identified by those things. Popular YouTubers Rhett and Link were formerly ministry leaders, so their audience was surprised when they began telling their faith “deconstruction” stories in 2020. A year later, they had a follow-up discussion on their channel. While we obviously don’t agree with some of the conclusions that they came to, there are things we as a church should be listening to in these stories. The church is struggling to reach people, and our own church kids are leaving the church, but maybe it’s less about not teaching them strong theology. Perhaps instead it’s that we taught them well but didn’t live what we taught them. Rhett shares, “If your kids can’t find Jesus—the Jesus that they know from the Bible, the Jesus that you’ve taught them about—if they can’t find him within the walls of your church, you know what, they will go looking for him elsewhere” (https://youtu.be/CnYG6x-aOTk?t=2986). Have we failed at walking according to our collective calling?
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