On Sunday afternoons I am going to invite you the readers to share a quick thought from your church experiences this past weekend.
- Something insightful that challenged you in your life with God.
- Something hilarious that you heard or saw
- Something visual that you just had to take a picture of (Disqus comments allow you to upload a picture)
- Something that gave you a vision of the early church
- Something that felt contrived or superficial (be careful not to gossip here)
- Something that made you cry
- Something unique that could benefit other churches and Christians
- OR Something completely Random
The following Sunday, I will share my favorite “Shared Something” from the previous post and invite readers to repeat the pattern until it gets old and boring.
Here’s a couple thoughts from readers from a couple weeks ago:
I am an intern for the summer working with a 1500+ church in a rich suburb of Houston. Last Monday the interns got to meet with the senior pastor to hear about what he does. He talked about preparing sermons and such. I’ve spent most of my summer gritting my teeth and taking deep breaths because of the opulence and the suburb culture. But, at the meeting, he asked us for our opinions. We told him that we thought he should challenge the latent materialism and greed that just exudes among the congregation. Anyway, this Sunday he started a new sermon series called “Generous.” Today, he called the church out on being greedy and asked everyone to think seriously about how they spend their money (and time). He pointed out that no one ever thinks that they are greedy (unlike committing adultery or something when you KNOW you’re sinning), and then he preached about living open-handed lives because of the grace of God. It was spot on and very convicting. I’m definitely going to encourage him tomorrow at work. – Gregory JeffersI had a unique experience this Sunday at church. I am on vacation, visiting my parents in another state with my kids and they wanted us to attend their church, the church I grew up in until I got married and moved away. The church has not changed in the few years I’ve been gone, except one thing that I noticed, it has gotten older, as in older in age. They even had a barbershop trio sing a “special music”…Anyway, I was looking around and noticed the few young people who looked bored and a single young lady, very pretty, sitting all by herself in a huge room full of people, I wish I would have introduced myself. The teaching was pretty good, talking about the 7 churches in Revelation and the historical context surrounding the chosen language of each letter. At one point, he spoke about the sexual sins of a particular city and began condemning sexual sins and speaking hate into them, as if God doesn’t love when you are caught in those sins. Then he moved on to the next church, next topic. He offered no hope, no forgiveness, no grace to those who might be caught up in those sins. I know the pastor personally, I grew up with him and his family and I know he is a loving and kind man, but his teaching showed no hope and grace and love, things that God resonates. It made me very sad. And to think that I was just like that in the past, before I fully understood, in the capacity that I can, where I am now, God’s grace and love and hope and forgiveness, which I can still learn about every day. My heart broke for someone in that room listening, who is struggling with a sexual sin and felt condemnation and hopeless and unloved because of the words from the stage during that church service. – LinnyOur faith community has breakfast with homeless people in the park on Dunday morning. This morning we heard a couple of our friends talk about how they had to stay up all night to guard one another. You see they are gay, and people have been gay bashing in the area. If you are both gay and homeless you really are low on the social ladder.I was filled with a great sadness that hatred hurts people I love. I was filled with an admiration for the way these marginalized people loved and cared for each other. And finally I was convicted to continue to find Christ in the eyes of downtrodden. – Rev3j