It’s been a wild ride so far, hasn’t it? Not that I meant to go straight for the jugular of the homosexuality: sin-or-not issue, but Christians seem to be very concerned about its sin-ness! Just this morning I read in John 9 how the Pharisees said of Jesus, “This man cannot be from God – he heals on the Sabbath.” It was so clear to them. And they were wrong. Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” Verse 16, “And there was division among them.”
JESUS GAVE SIGHT TO A BLIND MAN and there was division among them! They lost sight (ha) of this miracle because they were distracted that He did it on the Sabbath. What have we lost sight of because it didn’t come down the way we thought it should? Jesus gives sight to the blind and we fight about details. Jesus gives life and we fight over what is sin. (Don’t think I’m taking sin too lightly – a holy Sabbath was no light matter either.)
So what have we lost sight of here?
The other day, my friend and I chatted by email. A Sunday school teacher, she said kids are leaving the church in droves.
Me: If we don’t reach the kids outside the church, we may us well close it all down. Even the kids inside church are leaving. Hm… what do we need to change here…??
Her: I have thought long and hard and prayed about that question — what do we need to change here? We, as a body of believers, are asking the wrong questions. We ask, “How do we keep kids in the church, how do we reach the college students and how do we keep them in the church? WHAT???? Our answers are “let’s create more programs.” In fact, “let’s create programs specific to that age group,” only to find that we are separating the age, gender and marital status of our people and therefore, we are no longer mentoring young people or even connecting on a level that allows us to be “examples” of His love. We are no longer shepherding our people. We attend “our group” events and get fed and go home. We need to be asking, how do we help our family become lovers of Jesus? How do we love?
Me: So true. So well put. We have lost community – we think programs are going to fill the need but they don’t. We think more bible knowledge is going to do it but it’s not. It’s only knowing Jesus personally, and knowing community personally. Growing together, doing life together. That was the design and it’s completely missing in most churches. Our only real command is: love God, love others. Now what?? Thanks for the thoughts.She thundered back wonderfully: Now what? DO THE STUFF!!! 🙂 Love God, Love people…..DO THE STUFF!!!! As John Wimber once asked, “When do we get to do the stuff?” Remember?
“Shortly after John Wimber became a Christian, he became a voracious Bible reader. The Scriptures excited him. Finally, after weeks of reading about life-transforming miracles in the Bible and attending boring church services, John asked one of the lay leaders, “When do we get to do the stuff?”
“What stuff?” asked the leader. “You know, the stuff here in the Bible,” said John. “You know, like stuff Jesus did-raising people from the dead, healing the blind and the paralyzed. You know, that stuff.”
“Well, we don’t do that anymore,” the man said. “You don’t? Well what do you do?” asked John.
“What we did this morning,” replied the man. In frustration, John responded: “For that I gave up drugs?”
Like so many of us, John was taught by example that the contemporary Christian life was radically disconnected from the power and awesomeness of the Scriptures. Throughout the remainder of his ministry, however, he proved that the disconnection was unnecessary.” (from dointhestuff.com)
Oh, I remember when the church first bought into the “seeker friendly” idea a few years ago. I told my close friends that this was not what the world needed and that in just a matter of years, the church would be in a great mess. I vowed not to get sucked in! But I did. I spent most of my Christian years “doing the stuff” and one day found myself “doing the other stuff” (the programs, etc).
Since finding your blog, I have decided to resign my position at my church and get back to LOVING GOD AND LOVING PEOPLE. Now what?”
God is uncontainable, with amazing jobs for us all. I love love love to do the stuff. Please, tell me… Have you been busy doing “other stuff” instead of “doing THE stuff?” I would love to hear your story.