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I suspect most Christians feel that one of the hardest people groups to reach with the good news about Jesus is… the ‘sorted’.

By the sorted I mean those who are living a happy life – they’ve got a nice home (nothing too extravagent of course), a good job with reasonable hours, just enough money for a nice holiday (nothing too exotic of course). They have a loving family, get involved with community projects, give to charities… you know who I’m talking about. You may even live next door to them.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of sharing the gospel with them is frankly daunting. Where do you start? No obvious trouble in life, no glaring idol that’s tearing them apart, no overt quest to find a greater truth… they seem sorted. How is Jesus going to be good news to them?

If you have the same reaction as me, then you will find Luke 6:24-26 sobering…

“Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.”

Far from the ‘sorted’ leaving us lost for gospel-words, knowing people in this situation should set off alarm bells in our mind and cause great concern in our hearts. Far from the ‘sorted’ bring sorted, they are in fact in great danger.

So what can we say to the sorted?

Well… the gospel.

The gospel is about Jesus and the fact he is King. That’s why the response of the crowd to Peter’s gospel presentation is ‘what must we do?’ Jesus is King and whoever you are, you need to respond.

Thats the message, and whether you’re ‘sorted’ or not one day you will meet the King.

Do we love our sorted neighbours enough to get them ready?

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My most recent musical project goes by the working title ‘Hobosapiens’. Here’s a little medley from a recent gig.

For more of my music go to http://www.myspace.com/michaeljtinker

Below I’ve posted a youtube video (update – the original has now been ‘removed by user’). Its a response by Francis Chan in the US to some recent persecution of Christians in India. It is very disturbing. They’re edited things so its not full on, but there are images of people being beaten for following Jesus. (Click here to see more of what Francis Chan’s church is doing in India)

I hope it moves you – it certainly moved me. And what Francis Chan says is very challenging. We look up to Christians who lead big churches, and write great books and we say ‘we want to be like them’. But these Christians who are suffering and still trusting Jesus – they are the ones we should revere. But the problem is if we do that, we may also have to follow it with ‘we want to be like them’.

But do we?

Jesus is so clear – following him means suffering. The New Testament is full of that. Last week at the TCH leaders conference Steve Timmis just made the point that when Jesus said ‘take up your cross’ people would have had no other image than being a man who was beaten, bruised, spat upon and heading to death – not unlike those Christians in India that you see in the video. There’s no sentimental, spiritual view of taking up your cross.

But that is discipleship 101.

Sometimes we talk about the ‘sacrifice’ we make in giving up careers to be ‘in the ministry’.

But I watch this video and I think – we have no idea what sacrifice really means…

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Oh dear – I haven’t blogged in a while.

That’s mainly for two reasons:

1. I’ve been busy

2. I haven’t had much that was interesting to say

Anyway – I’m going to try and get a few up before 2008 is out… so watch this space.

I haven’t blogged in quite a while and one of the main reasons for this is that I started a new job for the government… sadly its not MI5, although I couldn’t tell you that even if it was…

One of the things that struck me recently about the work place is the prevalence of deceptive sin. It’s amazing how blind people can be.

A well known past time of the office is of course gossip. But what astounds me is that no matter how much they gossip about others, and others gossip to them about other people, there is this overwhelming confidence that no-one will gossip about them! There’s just a free-flow of back-biting where someone who is out of the office is bitched about, only to come into the office and bitch about other people completely unaware of what they’ve been saying behind their back. It really does astound me!

But that is the deceptiveness of sin. It puts me in the centre and really makes me think my world revolves around me. I just pray that I won’t be sucked into this and that I will be able to offer something very different and that when people from my office spend time with others from my Gospel Community they will witness something that astounds them in a different way…

I realise that I’ve got to write something of some substance soon, but this is worth writing about…

This evening Hull City beat Arsenal 2-1!!!

(oh… and Hull actually scored all the goals too! Prolific scorers all round)

Michael Tinker is a professional musician and part of the Crowded House which is a church planting initiative in Sheffield and around the world. He's a follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, member of a Gospel Community, Musician and avid follower of fashion...

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