On the way to Sunday … church community?

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Church is designed to be a gathering of people and simply a building.  But unfortunately that notion of community is as often broken as it is celebrated.  That is not more clear than in an article about the church that appeared in the Huffington Post:

Personal or national tragedy (and especially since 9/11) seems to cause a major shift in people’s assessment of church. It is a time when people flock to churches in droves. There is just something about churches that society finds in times of tragedy and hardship. This always fascinates me because the media and general public embrace church or (the idea of church) during a time of crisis, but in times of peace and prosperity, the church seems to become irrelevant again. 

Perhaps our struggle comes from our expectations.

We have culturally grown to become spectators – we love watching others do – it allows us to be critical – and in some ways superior – we know better.

And that culturally process has invaded the church.  Church has become a spectator sport focused on entertainment – big numbers – providing activities, programs, events, stuff … and the result is we miss out on providing community.

Church … as a place of faith … a place of refuge … a place of healing … a place of acceptance … a place to accepted and loved … is needed now more than ever … it is needed at all times and not just during crisis.

Church is a unique place that can change people’s lives because the community can rally together every day to help one another.  That one another thing is big deal in the Bible:

Love one another (Jn 13:3415:1217Ro 13:81 Th 3:124:91 Pe 1:221 Jn 3:11)

Through love, serve one another (Ga 5:13)

Tolerate one another in love (Ep 4:2)

And that’s just the start …

Where do you start?

Build community together in your church …

See you Sunday?

 

On the way to Sunday … Vegas Style

Search for the lost, bring back those that stray away, put bandages on those that are hurt, and make the weak strong.   Ezekiel 34:16

If you ever have the opportunity to fly into Las Vegas, do it at night.  It is an incredibly beautiful city.  The downtown strip in Vegas is as bright as day in the middle of the night.  Why all the light?  It helps keep the criminals away.  Light has a way of doing that.

Have we as followers of Christ become so comfortable in the light that we are now afraid of the dark and shadows?  God has given us the responsibility as Christians and as a church to reach the people in the shadows – the hurting and crippled people.The people living in the shadows do so because they are afraid to reveal themselves to others.

PEOPLE!  We have NOTHING to hide.

If we used half the energy that we use to complain about the shadows to light up the darkness the world would be changed.

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Maybe it’s time we spent more time lighting up the world “Vegas Style” instead of embracing the idea that what happens in church stays in church.

What would ‘lighting up the world” look like?  Great Question …

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.  John 13:35

We have nothing to hide …. we have Love on our side … what are you waiting for?

Light up the World!

See you Sunday …

Losing another Generation


The systems of life hum accordingly
Every day, every year, every century
But, everywhere humans go things get worse
Can’t you tell through the smoke in the dirty city

And now they’re down to 250 lone souls
They’re a breed of a losing generation it seems
The killers are ourselves so you know who to blame
It was man with his plan and his frightening greed
I don’t think we’ll ever leave them alone.

Losing Generation by Bad Religion

The words might as well have been written today, but truth is this song was part of Bad Religion’s 1983 album and to think I was a high school senior then!

Time flies and another generation is lost.

It seems rather frightening to think that we have been singing/talking about losing a generation for generations.  The church has become like so many other so called leaders in that we are better at the rhetoric of crisis than we are that the action of change.  In other words, we would rather yell, “Fire!” than pick up a bucket, find some water and fight the fire.

It’s time to stop talking and yelling and fighting.

It is time to boldly declare the great and mighty works of God to this and every generation.

We can’t remain silent, but we must have something more to say than, “Danger! Danger!”

Someone please pick up a bucket!

I believe that and others will gladly follow your example.