A note from a pastor I recently read…
Something just happened that made me stop and think. I was sitting in my office, typing away, when Package Delivery Guy dropped off a package. (I know his name but I’m guarding his anonymity). I like this guy a lot. I see him often, and he’s really cool, but he just said something that makes my skin crawl.
Package Delivery Guy told me, “I finally found me a good church.” (This is after several years of church hopping and shopping.) “All the other ones didn’t meet my needs, but this one does.”
Why would I shutter at that statement? Think about it. I’ve heard it hundreds of times: I’m looking for a church that meets me needs.
Can you admit for a moment how incredibly unbiblical that statement is? When did we, as Christ followers, start to think that the Church exists for us? When did we forget that we are the church? And that we’re here for the world?
Here’s our problem … Christians have become spiritual consumers – observers, not participants
Here’s the solution … Stop observing and get in the game. Reach out. Use your gifts. Give recklessly. Serve passionately. Make a difference!
Love those whom others reject, even those who aren’t like us – especially those who aren’t like us. Love not only nonbelievers, but also “second-class Christians.” Jesus did; so should we.
The Church is not here for us. We are the Church, and we are here for the world. When I ask church people to serve somewhere, I often receive a polite, “I’ll pray about it, Pastor.” (Which generally means, “Oh, crap. I don’t want to do that, but I’ll say something spiritual that may buy me time to plan my excuse.”)
I love the story about the guy who waited patiently in line to greet his pastor one Sunday after the sermon. “Pastor,” this eager, sincere Christ followers said, “I have only one thing to tell you. My answer is yes. Now, what’s the question?”
The pastor looked at him, confused, and smiling awkwardly, fell back upon the pastor’s safety net: “God bless you.” The pastor politely brushed the man off and turned to greet the next parishioner.
The next week, the same guy waited in line and repeated the same words. “Pastor, my answer is yes. Now, what’s the question?”
The pastor pondered this enigma. Wanting to get to the bottom of it, he invited the young man to lunch. Over a midweek meal, the young man once again blurted out the intriguing mantra: “Pastor, my answer is yes. Now, what’s the question?”
Finally overcome with curiosity, the pastor asked, “Can you please tell me what you mean by that?”
The young man smiled and, with passion, began, “Pastor, I was hooked on everything bad, about to lose my family, sliding down a slippery slope toward certain destruction. Then Jesus intervened.” Tears welled up in his eyes. “Because of what Jesus did for me, my answer to you in yes. You are my pastor, and I’ll do whatever you need.
“If you want me to rock babies, I’ll rock babies. If you want me to usher, I’ll usher. If you want me to mow the churchyard, I’ll be there at 6:00 a.m. every Saturday. My answer to you will always be yes. Now, what’s the question.?”
When it comes to your church (assuming you have one), what’s your answer? Is it, I’ll pray about it, while you look for an escape? Or is it …