≡ Menu

Can the church regain it’s glow?

vangogh-starry night

A couple weeks ago I preached a message working through Van Gogh’s art and the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God. It was a really fun one, partly inspired by this book.

My favorite bit was on Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night painting. Van Gogh was really intentional with his colors using blue for mystery and the infinite, and yellow for divine sacred love.

You can see how he had a real sense of earth being a reflection of heaven. The yellow holy light is laced across the fields and echoed in every little home, except one… the church.

It’s as if to say that hints of the divine are everywhere you look in all creation, but ironically Van Gogh didn’t feel that it was in the church (He was a pastor/missionary before seriously painting).

What do you think? Do you see truth in it today? How might the church regain it’s glow?

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Mike September 9, 2009, 6:25 am

    Ugh, I'm slowly stepping into a situation that I feel totally un-capable of doing. Which is probably good thing to feel because that's kinda how Jesus operates. I was a member of a church for three years that started out radical and all about reformation, to it just being about a building and some meetings about air conditioners and dirty floors in the kids room. I have been forced to look at "how can the church get its glow back?" and it's a hard question. I have read the blog about the future church and wholeheartedly believe that the church must move to make things more open and inviting for people who have never set foot in a church building before. The church I used to attended started out on a front porch and ended up in a $700,000 building that came complete with discontent and fuss over mowing grass. I miss the front porch or the basketball gym. It had glow. I could also help more with the glow instead of just complaining but it's how I am sometimes. Now I feel like Jesus often asks what are you going to do, so now I wonder, what am I going to do?

  • lon September 11, 2009, 12:55 am

    Hey Mike, thanks for sharing your thoughts – I feel your pain. it sounds like quite a transition downwards! what are you going to do about it all is often one of the eventual questions… but i'm glad you're reflecting on the whole journey as well, i think that part's critical before moving forward.

    Your heart sounds like it's in the right place, i trust God'll guide you through this one!

  • Chris Selby January 19, 2010, 2:58 pm

    I’m not even sure how I found this site, but I definitely sympathize with any concern, cynicism or bitterness about the church. You all sound very young and very involved. For the past 5 years or more my wife and I have been completely un-churched and I have wondered at first if the church had dropped the ball. I’m inclined now to think it never picked it up. Most Christians I know believe that if they could just get their friends to visit their church, the pastor would lead them to Christ. That’s just the problem. I’ve never bee in an evangelical church yet that didn’t orient each worship around the alter-call at the end. It makes the pastor’s sermonizing easier and lets the church off the hook for real nurturing and maturing – they call it discipling. It seems to me if we were nurturing and teaching – skip the alter-call! – we’d be baptizing in the streets while people were breaking the church doors down to see what made us the way we are. Maybe I’m just bitter, but today’s church is the greatest impediment to anyone wanting to become a Christian. If I didn’t know Jesus the way I do, I wouldn’t be tempted. But I’d probably be dead too.

    • Lon January 20, 2010, 10:16 am

      Hey Chris, thanks for dropping by and leaving some a thoughtful comment!

      I think times are rapidly changing… the churches/christians you’re describing are changing, or will die off within a generation… I’ve visited some ‘altar call’ churches – but I’ve never been part of one in my entire journey following Christ.

      and i totally agree… we shouldn’t be outsourcing our own mandate to discipling to the church/professional clergy.

Leave a Comment