In light of some of the stuff on blogs I’ve read the past few days about people being disenchanted with their churches, I started thinking about a thing I wrote on my old blog, from March 29 of last year. I’m rerunning it today, because after all, it is summer and it’s the time for reruns.
Of course, I could continue with the TV analogy and instead of calling it a rerun, I could say today’s blog is a “very special episode.” Anyway, here it is…
Churches that Matter
When you think about it, churches ask a lot of you – at least two or more hours of valuable weekend time, as well as other time commitments during the week. Then there’s a substantial percentage of your income, and if you have some sort of special skills or talents, you can be enouraged to donate a lot of that as well.
I have no problem with giving a lot of myself to a church, and for years I’ve had no problem with asking others to give a lot of themselves as well. But I’ve reached a point in my life about giving myself to anything, whether it’s a church or any other organization – it had better be worthwhile. It needs to matter.
I’m not saying that out of arrogance or any kind of bad attitude. And I really hope I’m not coming across that way. I love the church and what it stands for. A pastor I admire says, “The church is the hope of the world,” and I really believe that. But if that’s true, if the church is truly the hope of the world, then individual churches need to step up to that and get involved in efforts that truly make a healing difference in their communities. In other words, churches need to matter.
Here’s a harsh reality – most churches aren’t doing anything that any civic organization couldn’t do. And if that’s all I want to accomplish with my life, there are already enough civic organizations I can get involved with.
However, I believe that my skills, my money, my time and my very life are gifts from God, not to be wasted on mundane things. And there’s nothing sadder than a church, whose very mission is to change the world, choosing instead to be bogged down in mundane things. Again, I’m not being prideful – I’m being careful with what God has given. It’s the attitude everyone should have.
I want my life to matter, and part of that means being involved in a church that matters.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.” (I Peter 1:18-19)
Dear Friend and (in my heart, still my…) Pastor,
AMEN to this entry (and thanks for “re-airing” this “very special” episode!) There’s nothing sadder than a “dead” church that a) doesn’t even realize its dead and, (b) doesn’t have the wisdom or humility to address the problems. I’m the first to get so focused on my perspective of what’s asked of me, instead of focusing on the One who called me in the first place, and simply allowing Him to make my life count every day, and not just on Sundays! 🙂 I think we’ll find that our lives mattered most in ways we didn’t even realize. Gosh, at least I hope so! 🙂
Charlie, I learned every minute spent w/god matters! and you also matter very much in my life because you’ve strengthened my relationship with god and Jesus christ and I am just one of your not so regular flock..so harvesting souls is the main purpose not civic duty or making life easier for others right? Thank you for reminding us that we need to re-prioritize things.
Step aside Max Lucado, or ala Danny Thomas, “Make Room for Charley.” These are all such well-written, insightful, pertinent blogs. I just chose this one to send kudos. Where did all that come from? It’s funny how we tend to mentally freeze people we knew from thirty years ago into a mold they know longer fit.
Someday I’ll make it out to California again. What were you doing in Shawnee recently, and at hamburger King of all the random places?
Thanks for your thoughts.