Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Other Own Thoughts!

Here I go having my own thoughts again – in between the last ones and some time with the Lord. Hopefully you read Part 1 of this 2 part blog series.

-1 Church is boring, are we going to blame that on God?
I read the Bible and it says that David loved the Law – that’s right, he delighted in God’s law. Some how He saw His savior and messiah reveled in it, and that made him joyful. I also read about the Puritans and how they spent all day in church. Some Pentecostal churches have watch night services that go from sundown until sunrise. How do you think they do that and stay awake - and not get bored? I mean without Law & Order to watch on TV, how do you think they survived?

It is an interesting question. I have been to quite a few revival meetings in my tenure as a Christian – some long weekend retreats and even a few of those watch night services. I am from the entertainment generation of radio, TV, movies, music and yes, we had Pong. I would say that it takes more to keep me, and my kids interested than It used to… in the flesh anyway.

The presence of God comes in two types, and an endless variety of flavors. There is the abiding presence of God – John 14 and the manifest presence of God. Without the presence of God nothing of value in the Kingdom can be done. Nothing!

I confess, I don’t even bring my Bible to church anymore. I do have one on my Blackberry, and if I get caught off guard with a verse that I don’t know, I can read along in between Tweets and Facebook posts.

I was at a service on Sunday. The preacher was on fire teaching something that he was passionate about. And God was anointing it. The revelation was amazing, so amazing I needed to take notes. Not only was the revelation amazing, but he had someone demonstrate it. Wow2! Honestly, I could have gone for another helping of the word, the ministry demonstration and the testimonies that followed. I don’t know if I could have spent all day, but certainly more than the 3 hours I was there. I was with Jesus.

Church, we need more of Jesus, not more of the word, or worship or prayer. We need Him! He knows what He wants to do – how about we ask Him?

-2 A lot of folks don’t feel valued in church for a variety of reasons. Relationship is the “big one” along with having a gift that is not recognized.

I have written about gifting and relationship on a number of occasions. We often try to have one without the other. It is really hard. Those that are gifted want to release that which come through their spirit. They also want to be in fellowship.

Have you ever seen those movies where folks get stuck together in an elevator or something. Like Speed or The Breakfast Club.  That’s more like church than church.

-3 I believe that everyone should be passionate and excited about church.
Passion comes from fulfilling our destiny and reaching goals. If God calls us to do something and we never do it, how on earth would we ever be fulfilled? If we have a goal that we never reach, how can we possibly feel like we are in God’s will? If we have desires – especially ones that come from Him, how can we give birth to them?

Passion is a response to deep relationship with God, not hyped up religion.

-4 Leadership models tend to focus on the pulpit, not on reaching the lost, making disciples and releasing ministers to follow God and make things happen in the Kingdom.

Paid Holy Man shows make me crazy. If we are a body, then I want to see the body functioning doing the work of the Kingdom. If church is only on the platform or at the altar, I believe that you are missing the point of relationship with Jesus.

-5 Accountable, deep and meaningful relationships are few and far between.
I have written about this so many times, I can’t bear to do it once more. Are you tired of those the are so nice to you every Sunday and never call, stop in, or check in to see how you are?

-6 Regardless of what size a Christian gathering (meeting or service) is,  can we use some of the guidelines from 1 Corinthians 14? (basically to bring something from Heaven to His people.)

I think  the greatest problem with church as usual is that many come expecting to get fed, and not give selflessly to others. Leadership has also done a good job of making it hard to express gifting by making rules and things like membership separate the sheep from the pastor.

I like to see a services where folks show up ready to give, not receive.

-7 (is such a spiritual number – I like it.) As Nicodemus asked Jesus, what must I do to have church like God wants it?

I have often talked about what church might be like if passion and biblical structure were to be implemented. HERE is more on that.

7 comments:

photogr said...

David:

We both have agreed on the short fallings in many of the churches and we can complain about it till the cows come home. Others have expressed negative views on the church too.

My question is " What are we goiung to do about it?" Nothing but continue to complain?

That is not a viable solution in my book.

Look I am perfectly content on my faith in God and Jesus and will always share my feelings on my blog as long as people will listen. I don't need the brick and mortar church snobery that I have experienced in one particular church here. I can spread God's word on my own and don't need the established church politics.

I would imagine that many on the blogs do the blog thing because they are missing something in their own churches. Wouldn't you agree?

I would think that if so many are not satisfied with their church experiences, perhaps they should seek God's help in forming a new church that earnestly follows the scriptures in all areas. I have seriously thought about that option frequently in the last year or so.

David said...

@Larry - well, I am with you.

Sunday I drove 100 miles to go to a church that I think has a lot to offer. They have even discovered that they are deficient in relationship. The good news is that they are doing something about it. They are reading, praying and searching for deeper and more meaningful human relationships, and also that with God. The fruit of their Sunday service was evident in both human and spiritual terms. They have been aggressive about meeting new folks, and building deeper friendships amongst the leaders. It is a good start.

I'll be writing more about it in a few days.

David said...

I think too often we go to church and expect to be fed, entertained, motivated etc....

I wonder if our attitude would change if we brought something to church instead of looking to take something away

There's a new book out called "expository listening" that flips the traditional preaching book onto the people in the pews.

David@RedLetterBelievers

Tracy said...

There is a lot to think about in your post here. You consistently bring out real issues and concerns that I also ask myself.

The point that hit me most was your first one. I grew up in church, and due to moves for jobs, I and have both been in, and participated with, a number of local churches over the years. I have consistently found that I get something out of the preaching. Not that every pastor was as exciting of a speaker, or that I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as powerfully each time, but I can honestly say that every time the Word is opened, God speaks to me.

I'm not particularly smart, talented, bright or charismatic. I'm not a particularly good person. Perhaps that's why it's easy for me to always get something from sermons - because I need so much.

I so totally relate to these thoughts of Brennan Manning's in his book "The Ragamuffin Gospel":

Ragamuffins do not complain about the feeble preaching and the lifeless worship of their local church. They are happy to have a place to go where they can mingle with other beggars at the door of God's mercy. "Beggars know how to open their hands," writes Sue Monk Kidd, "trusting that the crumb of grace will fall". Humbly acknowledging that they are proletarian folks powerless to achieve their heart's desires without divine help, they are grateful for the smallest crumb that tumbles from the preacher's mouth."

Joyce said...

one line that struck me was
"I like to see a services where folks show up ready to give, not receive."

I think more of us would if church weren't so hierarchical and leadership so controlling

Oh did I say that... well it's what I think.

David said...

@Tracy - ouch! Well, I confess, I am tired of the rehashed sermons. Occasionally I get out and hear some anointed teaching. I think the difference is that I study on the average of about 2 hours a day. I have been a Christian for 30+ years and as I said, I'd rather be a participant, not spectator. In church I usually take the verses and read the whole chapter while the power point is going by. God feeds me - but most often in my own study times. I promise, I do try to listen when I am there. And I do try to engage in the worship.

@Joyce - yeah the pastor controlled church is a tough one. The Vineyard has encounters every now and again. Folks are given the opportunity to give revelation. But they have formula for that.

Hey I'm just idling... waiting to be used.

I have a new vision that i ma writing down for where I want to go. I am working with another pastor to see if we can work together.

Tony C said...

Great stuff David. The time and thought you've put in on this subject, combined with the feedback from your post, have the makings of a good book.

I was going to make a remark about love and changed my mind. I do want to remark on Joy though. The Joy we have as born-again followers of Jesus Christ can and should be one of our most valuable motivators. If I truly recognize and appreciate the source, nothing should keep me from church where I can be in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. My thoughts should be constantly about what I can do to glorify God and be about His work. I should walk through the doors of church ready to worship in one accord, to give of myself completely in my worship with not a single thought lingering on 'what's in this for me'.

The Joy I have been given should keep me always at the ready to lend a hand or word of encouragement to anyone and everyone...especially in my church family. I should be unselfish and humble enough to take a position at the bottom of the pyramid and not look for the top spot or the spotlight.

The Joy I have should completely burn through all animosities or ill-will and loving my neighbor should be my true creed and not just something Jesus said.

Where has our Joy gone churches? Have we forgotten what it was like before it warmed our souls like a comfortable blanket we wished was big enough to wrap around everyone we knew?

I haven't forgotten, and I'd spend the rest of my days in this world in the deepest darkest hole that could be found than spend a single day without the Joy I have through Christ.

Church sure sounds good after that thought...

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