As a rule I generally don’t read letters that come in anonymously. I have found that often times when people communicate without including their name it’s because they are cowards who just want to take a potshot and criticize from the shadows. From the safety of an unsigned letter the venom can freely drip off of the page. The worst part is when you are done reading it, and the barbs have done their worst, you can’t do anything about it. But that was the point all along; damage not dialogue.
But I recently read a note someone wrote me that was clearly left unsigned, not for the purpose of vitriol, but out of shame and embarrassment.
Dear skull church person,
I think your ministry is great and all, but the one think I think you should touch on is what about Christians who have fallen away from God. How to get them to come back. I’m 18 years old, and I have an addiction to pornography and masturbation. I know both are so wrong, but I can’t seem to stop. I know I’m a christian, but my walk with Christ is dead. I need help. Please pray for me.
As I read this note my heart went out to him and a million others just like him that are saved but struggling. It’s clear that he feels that what we are doing isn’t helping him in the battles he is fighting as he tries to walk with God. But here’s the thing: skull church can’t do that. There’s no way it can. Skull church is there to present the gospel to those who have never heard it, with the intention that those who commit their lives to Christ would get plugged in at a local fellowship where they can be baptized, hear the Bible taught consistently, get into a small group to grow as a disciple, and begin serving. If that’s fresh life, great. If it’s another church, also awesome.
Looking to an evangelistic outreach to move forward in your walk with God would be like taking your car back to the dealer anytime it’s out of gas. A dealership is a great place to get a car, but it’s not enough if you want to keep fuel in the tank. You need to go to the gas station every week, sometimes more. When you look at Paul’s evangelistic ministry you see this. People would get saved as he would preach, but then he would point them to bodies of believers to grow in their new walks with God. (1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.)
Don’t misunderstand me, I care very deeply about helping those who are struggling with sexual temptation. I have spent the last decade of my life calling this generation to God’s plan for sexual purity and trying to give tools to help them fight for it at O2 Experience events. And at fresh life we have done whole series on this subject, talking about these topics at length (see here and here) But skull church is a one trick pony. It only has one gear. It’s there to amplify the gospel, from the loudest speakers possible, to as many people as possible, until all have heard or Jesus has returned.