When Jesus entered the scene he turned the religious world upside down. Because the Synagogue fell into the powerless hands of institutionalism, Jesus pulled out a remnant of people and called them into God's mission. He sent them out into a hostile environment.
God's mission conflicted with the culture's mission. Our personal world throws narcissism in our face everywhere we turn. It's enticing voice places self on a beautiful sterling platter and says, "Here, take a bite of this. Surely you will live and become your own God." So we, both institution and individuals, bite into the venomous fruit. Then, the neurosis begins. The image of God gets distorted. Narcissus wins the day.
Therefore, the need to endorse Jesus' mission. He invites us to repent, believe, and accept the rulership (Kingdom) of God into our very soul. In fact the Gospel of Mark explains the mission this way among many:
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, 'Everyone is searching for you' 38 He answered, 'Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.' 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. (Mark 1:35-39)
Our culture no longer buddy's-up to Christians. This is not your mom and dad's culture. Time to let it go and save only the traditions that point toward character. We must re-tool so to speak. Seek God's unique missional opportunities for us and our church. I'm convinced more than ever that our God created us for this moment. As your pastor I will continue to challenge us to enter God's mission in a way that still has the capacity for driving out the demons so to speak, of our world.