Church Stuff

Two posts caught my eye today (so far) – the first from Patrick Mead again, who talks about church involvement and leadership in this post. Here’s a bit of a quote: A couple was furious with our church. We had gone to see what happened to them after someone noticed they’d been gone from our worship assembly for some time. “We aren’t coming back,” the husband said. “That is an unloving, cold church that claims to care about people but doesn’t.” I asked him on what basis he made that judgment and he replied, “We were gone four weeks from that church before anyone there even noticed. What kind of church doesn’t even notice something like that?”

I replied, “What kind of person are you, that you could be gone for four weeks and the no one in the church could tell?” They were shocked by this ‘attack’ so I pressed on. “What work suffered because you stopped your ministry? What mission work ground to a halt because you withdrew your funding, prayers and support? Could it be — just imagine with me a moment — could it be that you never really were a part of the church? Could that be why your departure was unnoticed?”

Wow. I think we need to say that stuff, I think I/we need to hear it. No wonder he has lots of people coming to his church. Too often the temptation is to say something more like… “sure you’re a whiner with a bad attitude who refuses to follow but also refuses to lead, but because we are “nice” Jesus following people and wouldn’t want to be “mean”, you can keep that horrible attitude, and hold the whole church at ransom because we would never want anyone to leave or be upset, because if you don’t come Sunday morning to this building we all might go to you know where – and besides, you might take your money with you and what would we do then??!!!” Ok that might be a bit much, but you get my drift perhaps?

This relates to the second post that caught my eye – I hesitate to summarize a summary, but here’s a quote from Darrell – about hearing David Fitch, the author of The Great Giveaway speak in Toronto. Sounds like really good stuff – three points: Spiritual Formation, Justice and Worship. Here’s one quote: “In regard to spiritual formation, Fitch spoke to the pressure on and the pride of churches to record decisions for Christ. Sadly, as too many of us know, the infant mortality rate is alarmingly high among these newborn Christians. Can we be patient and walk alongside those who are inquiring, testing, and/or learning Jesus? In some cases, a decision can be called for but we probably do it too soon.”

Maybe many of the people I spoke of above are actually Christians who were taught that the decision was all important then were abandoned, and have never been challenged to “grow up” in Christ… of course some of us whiners about the whiners might have some growing up to do as well right?

The other two points were also excellent, if this post wasn’t long already I’d just copy them too – they totally resonate with me… go check it out when you have a minute.

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2 Responses to Church Stuff

  1. Tim:

    Thanks for summarizing my summary! 🙂

    Just a quick note of clarification: I have been in the Hamilton area for nearly 8 years now and this is where Fitch made his appearance on Tuesday night. In fact, he spent part of his childhood in the Steel City.

  2. Sorry about that Darrell – that’s just the uneducated Westerner in me talking… we get very insulted when “easterners” make that kind of mistake about our “western” cities…

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