anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media. "I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO"
14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
The first time I heard someone say out loud “FOMO” as a word, I thought I was hearing a new curse word or slang that I was not yet acquainted with. Thus being a father, I did my due diligence to Google search what it meant, in case any of my children might stumble upon the word themselves. I wanted to be prepared to explain to them why they were not allowed to say it. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that FOMO was not a curse or slang word. That FOMO is actually an acronym… “Fear Of Missing Out”. It’s used to describe typically young (but also older) people who allow the anxiety of not being cutting edge, or a part of what everyone else is doing, and causes them to make uneducated decisions that may not fit their best interest. For example, if someone decides to finance a Tesla electric car, even if they didn't have the money, but just wanted to fit in with peers that have Tesla electric cars, then that person would be suffering from FOMO. The end result of a life led by FOMO is a life full of interesting, but largely insignificant events. The fear of not being included has kept said person's life from committing to anything truly meaningful. Believe it or not, FOMO is not just a young person problem, it's an American Church problem. The American Church has been so afraid of not being relevant to the world, in many ways we have become useless to heaven. We get so distracted by the next best thing that we never end up accomplishing anything worthwhile for the Kingdom. Admittedly, I see it again and again in ministry and in my own life. People get excited about a new conference or teaching, they flock to it in order not to miss out on what they and their peers perceive as what “God is doing”. Eventually, after the shine has worn off and the excitement is over, people go back to feeling restless after not accomplishing much more than feeling relevant in the last flash event. So, in order to combat the restlessness, ministers and ministries rebrand themselves in order to stay contemporary, attractive and exciting to the masses. It’s a repetitive cycle that creates an addiction and dependency on high energy events and cultural relevance, for spiritual fulfillment. The end result is discipleship leading people to a shallow, at most, relationship with Jesus. It is ruled mainly by feelings of inadequacy and trying to impress Christian peers. It’s a real problem that needs to be addressed. I understand the need for conferences. I value them most of the time, and I believe creativity is a gift, endowed by God, to be stewarded by people to represent His Kingdom. Though, at some point the creativity and events have to lead people into a real, vibrant relationship with Jesus. The type of relationship that is vibrant, despite the last conference or event you participated in. The type of relationship where…
You read your Bible because of the life it brings, not because of the new reading plan everyone else is doing.
You can worship freely, before the Lord, despite your preference in music being played or the new albums not being played.
You can have real community with anybody, anywhere because you understand your own identity in Christ, and the value of His creation.
You can be generous, without being coerced or talked into giving because everyone else is giving to the latest and greatest fundraiser.
You can have the type of relationship that causes you to serve because of your love for Him, not the reward of being noticed by others.
I could go on and it might be in the sermons to come. The point is, we are a church Body called to something real and lasting for the Kingdom. Usually, as outlined in the Bible and Church History, things that are lasting and impactful for the Kingdom of God are typically despised by the world. They are not found in culturally relevant people. Instead, they are stewarded by steadfast men and women who are committed to what Jesus is doing, despite the cultural cost, and what the world around them will think. It’s time to open the wells of revival the enemy has stopped up with the cares of the world. It’s time to prioritize our relationship with Jesus that is built upon His Word and worshipping Him freely in His Presence. It’s time for church Bodies who are willing to let go of looking good to their peers, and grab on to Awakening in the nations.