Stuck in the BUBBLE!

Matthew 5:14, 16 “You are the light of the world…In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Dan Kimball in his book, “They like Jesus but not the Church” talks about the downward spiral of  many Christian’s who once were excited missionaries in the community but now are citizens of the BUBBLE (Christian sub-culture).

He writes of 4 phases a Christian goes through to become citizens of the bubble:

  1. We become Christians – Joy, excitement and bursts of insight come as we relate to God and discover his grace and truth. In the first year of someone becoming a Christian, they tell approximately 20 people about their faith and even invite them to church.
  2. We become part of church life – Assimilation into church life gradually takes place. This is both helpful in establishing new patterns of thinking and relational influences but slowly our engagement with the world around us is eroded. Statistically, the longer we are Christians, we get fewer non-christian friends and have less impact on culture around us. Don’t you think it strange that the longer we are Christians and walking with Christ, the fewer non-Christians get to experience the overflow of Christ from inside of us?
  3. We become part of the Christian Bubble – When we start to see evangelism as something the church does through events, and we simply invite people to church to have the pastor do all the evangelizing through his sermon, we’ve missed the point. Church gatherings are important and hearing the word taught is important but we are the church everywhere we go and we must spend time with people being in relationship with them, not to proselytize them, but just to be a friend to them. When we are only listening to Christian music, wearing Christian T-shirts (“Jesus is my Homeboy” t-shirts do not count – it’s just cool), only attending Christian conferences, putting dorky Christian stickers on our cars (You must really like aquatic life) and using Christianese as your first language, it’s official, you are a citizen of the bubble.
  4. We become like Jonah – Before we know it, we are complaining about how ‘evil’ the culture is and when Christ calls us into it to be on mission, we, like Jonah, head for the hills…or water… We even get a secret sense of delight, knowing God will one day punish those sinners and we start to complain that church isn’t meeting my needs, forgetting the needs all around us. Our contentment in the bubble blinds us to the fact that we are STUCK. When stuck, we tend to get more excited about the latest Christian CD and End Times novel than about people we pass by weekly who don’t know Christ.

Jesus said, “We are the light of the world!” Lights illuminate dark places and are clearly visible. When we get stuck in the bubble, we hide our lights away and miss out on being the miracle in someone’s world.

I know what it’s like to be a citizen of the bubble, growing up in the church, son of pastors and spending the majority of my working life around the church. I have had to work hard in my role as a pastor to remove myself from the bubble and at times have received criticism for it, but it’s worth it. The conversations started, the hope shared, the lessons learnt, the people I’ve met and the love of Jesus given is all worth it. What about you? Are you stuck in the Christian bubble? Get out while you can…without throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Lead the Change!

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2 Responses to “Stuck in the BUBBLE!”

  1. Naomi Low Says:

    I love this blog Corey, I have definitely been thinking about this during my trip. I have begun to break out of the bubble, and I feel like being “out here” (outside the bubble) is what being a Christian is all about

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