Thursday, May 27, 2010


Meeting needs and church decisions...

I sit in on a lot of discussions about meeting needs and church programs and/or worship. I like the concept. Jesus certainly met needs. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, and gave sight to the blind. And in dying on the cross, he certainly met our biggest need.

But lately I have become concerned about the focus of some of these conversations. I sometimes hear intense discussions and planning on how to provide for the physical needs of our community, and even emotional needs. I don't hear as much about how that opens the door to talk about filling the greatest need.

Lots of talk about being the kingdom of God in this world. Not so much about bringing the people of this world into the kingdom of God.

And I hear more Christians discuss -- or complain --about how church must meet their needs. If we are Christians, our greatest need has been met. I would even suggest that when I was crucified with Christ I gave up the right to be concerned about my needs being met.

I want to hear discussions about meeting the needs of others. Jesus put us before himself. The Son of God met our needs. Selfish, sinful, immature, full of ourselves us became the focus of God's action. It's why Jesus came.

So if we want to be like Jesus... does that reframe the whole need based discussion?

Feel free to weigh in.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


My sister Sara...

Some of you will remember the story of Brittney. She was baptized a couple of months ago. We just shared our story with her -- stories out of the Bible, stories of people at church. Every story we shared with her, or that she heard at church, she went home and told to her Mom. A few weeks ago, her Mom Sara started coming to services with her. We baptized Sara Saturday afternoon.

Here are a few incredible things you should know about her conversion. Brittney does not yet know a lot of Bible, nor has she had any "evangelism training". She just shared everything she was learning with someone she loved.

Sara said she knew for a long time that something was missing in her life. I have to wonder how many more Saras are out there.

She said her Doctor told her one time that she would never really be well until she took care of her spiritual life. She was so excited to see Dr. Cooksey at Southern Hills. I was so excited to know he was sharing our story with his patients.

Sara brought her Mom, husband, one of her daughters, and four of her grandchildren to watch her be baptized. She's telling them the stories.

Brittney's first contact with Jesus was thru her boyfriend, Matt. They are now "just" friends. But Matt and his family have spiritually adopted Brittney and Sara into their family. Matt has Cystic Fibrosis. God is using him in powerful ways.

One of our older couples met Sara one Wednesday night. She was amazed that they were praying for her spiritual journey.

Lots of stories. Lots of God stories. And they are still being written. A daughter, her one-time boyfriend, his family, a Doctor, a retired couple, and a preacher and his wife. Writing Sara's story with her.

You can do that too. Go God go.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Change the church... or the world

In talking to ministersI hear a lot of conversation about changing the church. I hear discussions of worship styles, organizational models, and the difficulty of getting "buy-in" to change our culture. Almost every new preacher hired speaks about the mandate to change things.

Of course, this frustrates ministers because churches won't change. Or won't change the way they want them to -- or as fast as they want. Elders get frustrated because sometimes they don't see the need to change things. Or they get tired of repairing the damage from the attempted change. Or everyone has a different opinion of what to change. And how to change it.

Church members get frustrated because everyone can't agree on what should be changed. Or because talk of change implies they have not doing things right. Or they have not been faithful. Young members get frustrated because they think talk of change is the same as a promise of change. Old members get frustrated because they know that the more things change... the more the stay the same.

I wonder what would happen if ministers got all fired up to change the world instead of wanting to change the church? What if time, resources, and energy went into making disciples out of worldly people?

Of course if ministers really became evangelists, then elders and members would have to do the shepherding and the ministry of the church. Members would have to step up and not depend on a paid, professional staff. And the paid staff would have to change their minset from ministers to evangelists.

But if we did that we might change the world. And I'm thinking that if we started trying to change the world then we might find out we are changing the church.

Just my thoughts. What about yours?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Compassion and Christians

My daughter Julie stopped this morning to help someone who had fallen while walking. She had tripped in a hole and her companion could not get her up. Julie had Jake and Avery with her and explained that since she was a nurse she was going to stop and see if she could help the lady.

She checked her ankle, helped her up, took her back to where she lived, and helped her get settled back in her house. The lady asked her if she was a Christian. Jules said yes and that she went to Southern Hills. The lady said God had sent an angel to help her.

When Julie got back with the kids, Jake told her she had compassion. He is 4 and had been studying about compassion in Bible class. It was in one of his memory verses.

I'm proud of Julie but that is not why I am blogging about this. I am really struck by the lessons I learned from this. Of course, I am reminded why we have Bible class for our children. And it reinforces that Jesus needs to be seen at home to partner with what is taught at church.

But here is what really struck me: the question the lady asked. Are you a Christian? She assumed Julie must have been because she helped. I hear a lot about the negative reputation of Christianity but I doubt any other group has this kind of assumption made about them. But Christians do. Who else consistently plays the "good Samaritan" besides us? We are Christ's followers, and the world may think more highly of us than we think.

I know the lady may have been a Christian and that's why she sensed a kindred spirit. Or maybe our reputation precedes us. And I know that since Julie is a nurse she is more equipped to handle something like this. But it still reminds me of what I want to be about as a Jesus follower. And I'm glad Julie told her where she is a member. Maybe we'll see her again.

Just thought you might like to hear a Jesus story.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?