Monday, June 7, 2010

Who Left the Lint in the Dryer Trap?

It doesn't matter how many rules you have, few folks, if any, ever empty the dryer trap. In my house, growing up, that was the first thing that you did before drying your clothes - then you'd leave it for the next one. It must have something to do with having your hands full of delightfully warm Levis with rivets so hot you could brand a calf.

It's that same at work and home with the K-Cup coffee maker. I never open the cup clamp and find it empty. I always have to toss someone else's Mocha Creme Latte Deluxe Comprede Alfredo before making the next cup of Columbian.

There is one more thing that never seems to get done by the last person that uses it  - changing the toilet paper. Is it just men, or do woman do this too? So you are all hiked up or zipped up and ready to roll (pun intended); is there is no time to put fresh roll on the roller? I'm guilty.

If I think about it, leaving the lint or K-Cup for someone else is a little selfish. I realize that it doesn't compare to acts made by others like Bernie Madoff - but it is certainly a sign.

What does left over lint, toilet paper and K-Cups have to do with the Kingdom of God? I don't really know. It does, however; remind me of this verse.

Mark 9:35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

How can we learn to become last? Here are a couple of thoughts.

Initiate - Here is how I see most churches. Folks go to sing along to the music, listen to the pastor preach, and drink coffee in the fellowship hall. Some serve - usually about 20% max. The church tries to fill the rolls in their programs and possibly some teaching positions in the weekly home studies. Various churches have a greeting pastor and people in charge of saying hello. The problem is that once we have welcomed folks, got them saved up for eternity, then what?

I suggest finding one or two folks and making sure they get to your house for dinner, out to coffee aside from all the other ministry, or meet them at an event. Just hang out, play cards, go to the beach, attend a local sporting event - do something and you initiate it.

How about asking God about someone that needs a call - or a regular call - better yet is friendless. Find a teenager that is getting in trouble and pursue them.

There are a lot of initiate verbs in the Bible, but very few take verbs.

Mentor - Many of us have learned a few things over the years, how about taking someone under your wing? Have you made coffee at church? Teach someone else. Or just come and hang out while they do it. Do you teach, prophesy, have a good marriage, play on the worship team, clean toilets, print the bulletin, prepare communion or teach Sunday school? Why not share that with others?

Train someone else to do your job! If you are leadership: a pastor, a deacon an elder, or worship leader it is essential. You're not there to be the "top dog," but to serve others. Train future worship leaders, missionaries, pastors, prophets, apostles, evangelists and teachers. If you are afraid of your underling outperforming you, you need to change your attitude. Even Elijah handed a double portion to Elisha!

At my last church I came onto the worship team as the bass player because there was an opening. I really am a guitarist. I started to teach bass to a couple of the kids at church and both seemed to have some talent. It wasn't long before I was able to get them to a spot where they could play on the team. They moved me to rhythm guitar and eventually to lead.

Give - Where our time, our passion, and our money is, there you are most likely to find God. Sorta makes the lint analogy go a long way. When we give by getting at the back of the line, preferring others over ourselves, life has a different perspective. Only giving can train a believer, it cannot be taught.

Some folks waste the time the could be giving by just doing religious stuff. It is far better to do God's will in obedience then to sacrifice time to make ourselves feel better about ourselves. Volunteering is to be done with excellence - as if you were making 10 times your salary. That is why it needs to be God.

Money - its easy to give - and some folks tithe, others don't. Actually, most Christians don't. If you are not supporting your local church, its ministries, and possibly some other things, I can only say, take a closer look at your check register.

Passion - if you don't have it, you need to find out why? What is it that YOU need to be excited about the Kingdom of God? It's a good question, and one that you need to answer.

How about you, how are you investing in the Kingdom of God, and the local church?


Tony C said...

It's amazing how you start one place and effortlessly move to another great point.

More good stuff to chew...

photogr said...

I don't do lint traps in the dryer. The toilet paper hanging is my job. Seems fitting doesn't it?

You made a lot of good suggestions in this post. I will surely take them up when I find a new church that does have good fellowship.

Revsimmy said...

Great, great post. Especially the bit on Initiate. I recently heard of someone who said, "I'm not looking for a friendly church. I'm looking for a church where I can make friends." Inviting to dinner/coffee/whatever bridges that gap and leads to all sorts of possibilities.
My two sons, now both well into their twenties and still very much connected to churches where they are, I believed were saved in their faith because at key points there were other, mature Christians who took the time and effort to mentor them in their faith and its practical outworking.

@photogr: I don't know your circumstances, so there may be good reasons, but why not start doing them in your old church and see if they might start to change the folk and fellowship there?

Tracy said...

Your lent comments grabbed me right in (as a nursing home administrator, lint traps can be a big deal). You make some really good points about investing into the lives of people God's put with us in the local church or some other place in our lives. Currently my passion for ministry is with women. Even though I'm kind of on the shy side so I get those social anxiety type feelings initially, I frequently find that as I reach out women respond. Women want to share their hearts, be listened to, cared about and prayed for. Whenever I facilitate groups, it's never about the formal lesson or agenda, that's always a jumping off point. We always look to the Word, but so often I find that God works in ways I never could have planned.

David said...

@RevSimmy - Well, I would have stayed at a church - a lot longer if there was true and meaningful friendship there. In nearly 4 years, we have rarely received a call, and not in the last 2 at all.

3 times I have heard preaching on friendship and relationship in the church, all three times I went to that preacher, thanked them, gave them my phone - nothing. I think photogr has experienced the same.

It is sad there needs to be another church for any of us.

I might even feel that I own part of it if we hadn't opened our home, started groups etc.

Thanks for commenting - I look forward to your participation. Blessings - and blessing to Tony, Larry and Tracy - my regulars.

photogr said...


If you review my past post and the current one you will see the experiences I have went through at this particular church.

I don't have time for their brand of fellowship. I have 95 families that I now minister too with in my own home community.

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