Teaching is exalted. Church feels like a seminar—could be intellectual, could be motivational. Good content is what matters. Doctrine is fiercely defended. Members can explain to you theories of the atonement, or seven steps to success, but can’t name one intimate encounter they’ve had with Jesus. Not once in their lives have they heard him speak to them. I’ve met heads of Christian education departments, chaplains, and seminary faculty who by their own admission don’t know Jesus personally. You can talk about sunshine and live your life underground; you can even go to the sea but never dive in. A great deal of what is adamantly taught about Jesus is taught by people who frankly don’t know him very well.

Question: Are your leaders close friends of God? People who actually know and experience this Jesus, helping you to know and experience him?

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