Archive | September, 2010

Remaining Relevant

7 Sep

Read a blog post from pastor yesterday.  Made me really think about many things.  Seems he was the pastor of a church that died.  At one time, this church was prominent and vibrant.  And relevant.  And they died.

How does a relevant church die??  They die when they become so inwardly focused on themselves that they cannot hear the cries of a world, dying and desperately needing Christ.  Right outside their doors.  It’s almost as if God leaves them to the results of their pride.  They literally die staring in the mirror at themselves.  They forget to digest His word.  They forget to exercise His work.  And they die.

And, with God as my witness, I DO NOT EVER WANT ANYONE TO WRITE THIS ABOUT EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH.  And I will do my part to try and make sure this never happens.  I just hope everyone else is up to it.

It’s time we, the BODY OF CHRIST, stood up and followed HIM!!!  And I mean ALL OF US!

For the duration …

3 Sep

What is your level of commitment?????

One of the trends I’ve noticed in the past decade is a hesitancy to commit.  In MANY, MANY areas of life.  I first noticed this in some of the regular activities of our church that require people to sign-up.  To put their name on the dotted line.  Fifteen years ago, if you asked folks to do this, they would do it and live up to it.  There was this commitment to our word … “If I put my name on the line, you can count on me!”

But times have changed.  Not only at church, but throughout our community there seems to be a trend of not wanting to sign-up or commit until the last minute.  We are ALWAYS waiting on a better deal, wanting to keep our options open!!  Makes things tough on those who need attendance numbers to plan events, but that is the way it is in Florence, SC, in the year 2010!!

And, yes, this bleeds over into church commitment.  Some take the cafeteria style approach, especially in areas like youth ministry.  There is ALWAYS something going on in a youth ministry somewhere in Florence.  That is a good thing!!  And I am glad so many churches have healthy church ministries!!  But sometimes I think people forget about making a commitment to a local church body and living up to it!!  (And they forget to teach their children commitment, too!)

And then there are the church hoppers.  You know, those who NEVER stay at a single church for too long.  You know them, as do I.  Many years ago I had a meeting with a person who attended another church.  That person proceeded to tell me how horrible the youth pastor at his current church was.  It was an enlightening moment for me:  As I sat listening to him bash a colleague, I realized he would say the same words about me someday.  And he did.  And he left the church for another.  And another.  And another.

Let’s cut to the chase here:  I wish everyone in Florence could find a church in which to plug in.  And when they do, they need to COMMIT and PLUG IN.  End of story.  No riding the fence.  Find the place where you belong and BE THERE and BE A PART OF WHAT GOD IS DOING THERE.

For the duration.

Doorbell fun

2 Sep

(Today’s email from http://www.mikeysfunnies.com)

A priest is walking down the street one day when he notices a very small boy trying to press a doorbell on a house across the street. However, the boy is very small and the doorbell is too high for him to reach.

After watching the boy’s efforts for some time, the priest moves closer to the boy’s position. He steps smartly across the street, walks up behind the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on the child’s shoulder, leans over and gives the doorbell a solid ring.

Crouching down to the child’s level, the priest smiles benevolently and asks, “And now what, my little man?”

To which the boy turns and hollers, “Now we run!”

today’sTHOT============================

Children are natural mimics who act like their parents, despite every effort to teach them good manners.

Constructive Criticism

1 Sep

What is the difference between criticism and constructive criticism??  Two things come to mind.  FIRST OF ALL, subject matter.  Is the criticism being shared a valid concern?  Is it something that will really help a person??  OR is it just a rant?  SECOND, was it shared from a GOOD HEART or in malice??

This week, I had a visitor.  A friend.  What he said to me is not as important as HOW he said it.  He shared a little constructive criticism.  OF COURSE, my initial response was to be defensive.  But, quickly, I realized what he said was valid and he shared it from a place of loving his pastor.  He wanted to help me by sharing it.  And it took great courage to share it.

How did I know this??  I could see it in his eyes.  I could hear it in his voice.  And it made me appreciate him even more than I already did.  It was the way he shared that told me.  Carefully chosen words and a gentle demeanor.  Honestly, I’ve heard much criticism in my day.  MUCH of it through the grapevine.  I also appreciated the fact that he came to ME instead of sharing it in the court of public opinion.

It IS the church BEING the church!  An older brother coming to the aid of a younger brother!  Man, I LOVE my family in Christ!!!!