It was just one word. Simple, clear, straight-to-the-point.
It was given a thumbs down.
It was too strong, too alienating, too loaded. It would scare people off.
I didn’t understand what the problem was. It was a word I had picked out from a verse that spoke exactly what we wanted to say.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles ‘ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
We were brainstorming for a media campaign. The message we want to put across was building a community on discipleship. We wanted people to come and grow together. And above all, we wanted to have committed followers – devoted individuals – who would make time for all of this.
But political correctness had taken the front seat. Politeness and the fear of being overly zealous was winning on the campaign trail.
I have nothing against being politically correct, and I do believe we have to be polite. But I also believe we can’t sugar-coat our message, especially if the words come straight from the Bible.
These days, it seems like Christianity has stepped back and allowed the world to dictate how it should be presented. You can’t use strong words like sin, judgment, detestable. You can’t call someone out for things like homosexuality or divorce – because that would make you intolerant and judgmental, narrow-minded and unsympathetic. And the call to become devoted? Well, it’s too much to ask for some folks. You can be a Christian, but a devoted Christian? Hmmm.
We weren’t called to be lukewarm. We weren’t called to be bystanders or spectators. If the early church had devoted themselves to spending time in God’s word and in fellowship, then shouldn’t we, the modern church, be equally devoted? Especially as the time of Jesus’ return draws near?
And our media campaign? They didn’t use the concept I proposed. But they did use the t-shirt design with Devoted emblazoned across the front. Every now and then, I see people wearing that shirt, unashamed by its bold declaration.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what we’re called to be. Committed, devoted, unashamed to be living for a cause bigger than ourselves.