If you read my last blog post, I don’t know what you came away with.
Ive never been one to mince words, some love me for it, some hate me for it- (some I suppose like me but wish I’d be less truthful? )
Whatever you took away from my post (all but one message was a right on, this is how I feel , lets roll …consensus , though I know many more read than contacted me) I will clarify a bit on my stance on church and The Church.
First, I want to clarify:
The post had nothing to do with my own church.
I try and make sure I make it clear that I am talking about THE CHURCH *big C* not my church *little c*. I didn’t go back and re read just now but if memory serves, I did make the distinction repeatedly .
Now I know, that some people, probably those prone to read into everything and seek drama could assume I am talking about my own church or at the very least out of some incident stemming from my church.
They would be incorrect, and I don’t find that I am responsible for the thoughts of those types of people.
Those types of people are going to read things into anything they read and Im sorry, but I can’t be censoring each word with the intent of their trouble inducing minds as the decision factor for what I say.
I don’t play politics.
I don’t have to.
I am a housewife.
I don’t claim to speak for anyone.
So lest their be misunderstanding.
Nothing was about my church nor was the blog post perpetuated by some experience by my church.
Honestly, we haven’t been at our church long enough to know much of anything to make an assumption. I end up in the nursery with Layla but the sermons and bibles studies ive had the opportunity sit through ten minutes of have been about doing more in our Christian lives.
I know the pastor and his wife well as they were our youth pastors and it was a mission trip with that youth group where Tony and I met. So we do know them, and their hearts and we love them and trust them. So even though I don’t know much about the ins and outs of that church right yet, I know we are under solid leadership.
The attitudes of the church people reflect this as well, being some of the sweetest people you will meet. We are never not greeted with a hug (often I have to ask tony who is hugging me because I don’t know many there, like he does) and there is just a peaceful sweet atmosphere in the place. I think God led us here for those reasons.
We need a place of peace and warmth while we go through this adoption.
Because adoption gets ugly.
I just wanted to be clear to any speculators that its not about our home church but the Church as a whole, not that I have heard there was speculation but I wanted to clarify. And for future reference- im not talking about our church in any blog post.
Is any church perfect.
But I’m not using my blog to point out issues in a specific church. * not that I have seen issues ;)*
So that’s my disclaimer and it stands for all and any further posts I may write. Read into anything what you may, that is your issue not mine, especially when I try and specify I am talking about the entire Church.
Now that that is out of the way …
Maybe I just have some awesome people in my life (where my 7 readers at) but most of the people I talk most to feel the way I do.
We are tired of sitting on the sidelines playing church while there is a world in need around us.
Churches have meetings, teachings and studies and fellowships and programs out the wazoo to build up and edify the church but what are we DOING.
Yes we give money to this missionary that ministry … on and on and get our tax refund back at the start of the new year from those charitable donations, but I have really felt lately that what God is telling me, is that when Jesus was talking about denying oneself and picking up the cross and following him- he wasn’t talking about tossing a $20 in the offering plate when we have a speaker.
Obviously, lets do that.
We should still give.
There was no Buy Your Way Out of Service option in Christianity.
Giving to someone else who is Doing does not give you a free pass to pew warm.
We are all to DO.
Now I know we all have families, and jobs and hobbies, and kids hobbies… to keep us running til we pass out.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have to do all the things we are called to do.
And let me just say, I’’m not talking a bout a calling in the sense that one is called to Pastor a church or say how we were called to adopt.
I’m not even talking about having something you are passionate about.
We are all called to do things like care for the orphans and widows in their distress.. James 1:27 , be with the hurting, feed the poor, preach the gospel, heal the sick, deliver the oppressed, break chains…
And not just through monetary contribution.
I think the church has stressed giving of money far more over time and we have become a society where we think paying our tithes and paying a little extra here and there is enough.
It’s a start…
You don’t have to go across the world, to help.
We have hungry . Right here.
We have hurting. Right here.
We have the lost. Right here.
We have widows. Right here.
I can go on - but I know, reader, you are a smart cookie.
We need not just be bank rolling others to do this
We need to be doing it.
My point with the church mobilizing their people to work to a cause in my last post is just that- we pay people to do what we are to do and just preoccupy ourselves with things in the church.
I do believe that members of the church would have far less time, opportunity and propensity to be petty and pick at each other * look we all know it wont stop entitely* if we were joined together in serving God together like we are called.
There is something about serving God with others that forms a bond. You really get to know those people on a real level.
Will there still be problems? Sure. We are all still just people working out our salvation.
But I think the churches who do things like this have a far greater sense of community as they strive toward a common goal and are walking out their faith together instead of just talking about.
Am I saying we abolish having church services
I’m not. Really.
We need church services.
We need wise pastors teaching us.
I love to sit under a knowledgeable pastor. I get more out of the 10 minutes I get to sit in of my church services before someone has to get me to tend to a hysterical Layla than I do under some preachers in a year.
We don’t need to stop having church services, we need to stop ONLY having church services.
I think churches were meant to be a refilling station.
We go out and pour out all that we have taken in. We let God use us til we are empty.
Then we come back, we NEED to come back, and get refilled, refreshed to go out AGAIN.
Instead most churches today, we come and sit and get our fill, get our fill, get our fill…. Never going out. We just get filled and filled like a big fat tick ready to explode and never pour that out into the lives of others.
How do we do this?
I think each individual is responsible for their own actions – or inaction as it were.
But I think the church should be a force to mobilize people to go out in the world.
Our pastors need to be ( and some are let me be clear) an example.
Instead of just teaching from the pulpit they need to be getting their hands “dirty” out in the real world around us, doing the things that are supposed to be part of our walk- on a regular basis.
And people would see that and join them.
I think so many times people want to do something but don’t know what that something is, or don’t know how to start.
I know I feel like that often.
If our churches were active in the community, in the needs of others, and open to allowing the congregants to help, we would really be making disciples of our sheep. Leaders would be raised out of that confused mass and start initiating doing these things in their own lives and forming their own groups to feed the poor, help the helpless.
And I have no numbers to crunch for this but common sense follows that if our church had a visible presence in the community- the community would be in the church.
Form a relationship, a point of contact gain their trust and make them comfortable with the people of the church and they will come in.
You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one…
No really, I’m not.
There was this guy. Jesus, you might know him.
He said all this.
He said he required everything.
Not just being a nice gal at work who treats people nicely, and maybe mentions his name and invites co workers to the Easter play *all of this good but still, baby steps* .
Hes the one that said we would do all this AND MORE.
Jesus said we would DO more than Him.
Do you see that happening around you anywhere?
And last time I checked- Jesus didn’t lie.
So what is stopping us?
How do we do this?
Well really I think its quite simple for the American churches with beautiful facilities to start being doers instead of just hearers of the word.
How about instead of giving food to food banks we distribute it at the church?
I know a church in the area who just started doing this.
Why at the church? It gives the people a point of contact, gets them used to being there, lets them learn faces…
How about those big commercial style kitchens so many churches have?
Lets serve the hungry in our fellowship halls, once a month, once a week.
Those are just two ideas. Its not hard. It really isn’t.
And hear me.
You can’t buy salvation with works.
I’m not claiming that.
Don’t get under condemnation.
You can get saved and sit on your butt the rest of your life and not lift a finger.
If you’re really saved. You’ll still make it to heaven.
Faith without works is DEAD.
What good is your light , your salvation, if you cover it, if You do nothing.
God gives us these giftings to be used, and not just on Sunday morning in a padded pew.
He wants us to use them for his glory, to reach people.
Lets start reaching people.
My last post wasn’t to be critical of anyone, but yes it is critical of the church *big c…*
We aren’t doing enough and if you can tell me we are and that I am way off base by saying lets get outside of a church building every now and then and use this faith weve been given… then we clearly see Christianity completely differently.
I know the salvation is a gift freely given, but to whom much is given much is required.
We can stop at salvation.
But why stay an infant?
God is calling us to greater things.
I don’t know about you but when I get there I want to have crowns to cast at his feet.
I want to know I made something with the beautiful blood bought gift he has given me, instead of worrying about this life and what I can gain here.
What is a few evenings a month or even a week to serve others, to serve our King.
We give more to our kids coaches and dance teachers.
I know I need to do so much more.
I know so many around me want to start doing more.
So lets do it.
Maybe youre thinking its just that I’m a stay a t home mom and need a hobby… (im quite busy thanks would prefer staying at home rather than serving to be honest)
Or the normal 30 something phase of being an ideologue.
Maybe it is.
After all, Jesus was in his 30’s when He was telling his disciples we were supposed to do all these things.
Did he mean it or was he a dreamer?
I think we are casting our vote with our lives, and what we or do not with them.
Where do you stand?