Wednesday, November 10, 2010
5 1/2 I Need Something New - Like a Phone or a Church!
I promise, this is going to be spiritual, but I want to rant a little about my "Dumb Phone". Even after a few hours on the phone with tech support, I had to take it to the Sprint store 2 times to get things working. Even with a back-up and restore, there was a lot of stuff that had to be configured again.
I need a new phone. Any suggestions?
I was at church Sunday morning and ended up praying with a gal who was first-timer. It was obvious to me that the Lord had given her a writing gift. After the closing prayer, I shared that with her.
"Well, that is interesting she said, I am writing about 'how to find a new church'."
I thought about how I found a new church, one in which things are going pretty good - God like even. HERE is a little more on that story.
When I attended AA meetings almost daily, I was also involved in their service structure. We had a saying, "all you need to start a new meeting is a resentment and a coffee pot." It was really true. There was never a lack of criticism for the way things were already going, nor a lack of ideas for how to run a meeting better. The same seems of be true of church. The difference, however; is that God only has one way of doing things - His way.
He may have many methods, but there is only one authentic God's will.
It's a bad idea to just leave a church because they aren't doing it your way, but when it's time for something refreshing, how do we find something different that is still God? What's the process? Here are some points that make it clearer as to what we should do.
- Prayer: I know you feel dry and thirsty, or you are offended. Possibly you don't feel significant, or valued in your church - especially if you are thinking about leaving. It's easy to say "God where do you want me?" - and then hope that you feel better somewhere else. That is not how it works.
Can you ask yourself these questions?
Am I upset with someone or some group at the church that did not meet my expectations? Maybe you need to go to them and get things squared away.
Is there a ministry that I want to do, that they are not supporting? Have I asked and they said no? Have I been persistent? Can you I make a case for what God is doing in my life? Do I have the education? Have I proven my self? Do I have a prophetic word or promise from God? Am I doing everything that I should be doing to get where I am going?
If I was king of the church, what would I be doing? What would God be doing?
When you answer all those questions, then it is a lot easier to go to God for that change you are desiring.
-1 Biblical Church: What the heck is that? For the most part, churches tend to run on one cylinder when they were meant to run on 5. (Eph 4:11) I have written a lot about this 19 times before: HERE.
If you are looking for a phone like I am, then you need to decided what it should do. The phone I am looking for needs to have a phone - but the truth is that I don't use my phone as a phone very much. That is part of the problem with the church. If they only have a pastor, all you'll get is pastoring.
My phone needs to text, do chat, play music, Facebook and surf the web. So does my church.
My church needs to prophesy, teach, have deep and meaningful fellowship, have great worship music, and I need to want to be there.
Church is wherever two or more are gathered together, but it's got to be more than teaching and music!
-2 Fellowship: The cross is about both the vertical and the horizontal relationships. We are to love God and our neighbor. Any church that is thin on getting to know others, is thin.
Without others it is going to be hard to stay free of sin, to connect with God and to experience His Kingdom.
-3 Passion: A church without passion is not going to be advancing the Kingdom. in fact it may turn folks off. We need to be passionate about Jesus, about His people, and about those in our communities - that comes from spending time with Jesus!
A lot of churches have ministries in which they try to fill the slots with folks to help out. I personally think that it is better if someone approaches leadership with their passion for a ministry, and then they support them in doing it.
I am not saying that we don't try to recruit someone to clean the toilets, but we should also make room for a personal vision that individuals have. Leadership may not even be interested in a ministry that an attendee has passion for, but that doesn't mean it's not God.
Does it matter if I like my Blackberry and you like your iPhone? What matters is that we are able to do the tasks with it that we need to do.
-4 Opportunities to Serve: I think that everyone should be serving. How long does it take to be ready to serve? Well, that Gadarene Demoniac started witnessing right away (Luke 8:26-39). So did Paul the Apostle. (Acts 9) I am not suggesting that you make a new believer the pastor 3 weeks after they get saved, but you can let them park cars, print bulletins and other service gifts.
I also believe that everyone should be trained to pray for the others. When it comes to salvation, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, confession, and the laying on of hands; which Paul said was elementary, is for all believers.
-5 Encouragement: Folks need lots of encouragement. It allows them to stand firm in tough times, and step out in others. It is the pit stop between laps in the race of life.
So many Christians could achieve their destiny with an encouraging word.
-5 1/2 Grace...