“In the New Testament, Jesus shows up and fights for his right to party. . . . So much so, it led to an accusation the religious leaders made against him. . . . Don’t miss this: in the Bible, there’s a clear and consistent party theology. . . . Could it be we have lost something vital God wants for his people?”- Kyle Idleman
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”- Matthew 11:19 (NIV)
In Chapter 7 (“One Party At a Time”) of One At a Time, Kyle Idleman suggests that many Christians have lost the celebratory spirit. As a result, Pastor Idleman contends, party-less Christians lose the heart of God. And, like the Pharisees, such Christians make their faith about keeping rules and traditions.
Therefore, Kyle stresses, throwing a party provides one of the best ways to influence and value people one at a time. Hence, the author exhorts:
“We need to give people a different view of who Jesus is by giving them a different view of who we are as his followers. . . . a joyless Christianity misrepresents Jesus and the will of God. . . . Jesus didn’t draw crowds to himself and impact people one at a time by being joyless. People were drawn to him and will be to us because of joy. Joy is attractive, and parties bring joy.”
Above all, Pastor Idleman observes, we live in a ‘post-Christian’ and ‘cancel’ culture that increasingly rejects the church and ostracizes Christians. Thus, parties with a purpose create and grow relationships. And through those relationships, we witness how we love Jesus, pointing people to Him.
In conclusion, Kyle states, God’s will always includes joy. As 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reads:
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Today’s question: How might what Kyle refers to as a clear and consistent party theology bring more joy to Christians? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Throwing a party with a purpose”