Archive for January 2008

Bill Deiss’s Unity Video

January 30, 2008

Bill Deiss forwarded a video and the following comments about Church Unity. Nice job, Bill!

As we know the Bible calls the devil a “roaring lion seeking who he may devour”. It is plain to see in Church that it is the quite often the young and week Christians who fall pray to the devourer and then proceed to have the life chocked out of them while the “Covenant Body” sits by and apathetically watches. It has been said that Christians like to “shoot their wounded”. We tend to leave young and weak Christians to their demise for many reasons. Sometimes we think that we have no power over circumstances or attacks from the devil. The Bible is clear that Satan wants to render us powerless with fear, bitterness, anger, jealousy, and other types of sin that keep us off guard and promote disunity in our ranks. This makes some of us easy pray for the enemy.
In the video the young water-buffalo is attacked by 2 different adversaries who have a tug of war over his life with the intent to rip the poor little guy to shreds. Thankfully, the water-buffalo herd pull together and go to the rescue. They stomp and charge and are persistent in confronting the lion until the lions let go of the the little guy and he goes back into the safety of the herd. He is then surrounded by the big bad “elder” water-buffaloes who go on the offensive against the lions and chase them away.
The Bible tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities who would have us confused or even worse, indifferent to the needs of others who struggle in our body. I think it is time the church took a lesson from the water-buffalo and stood our ground and stop being a docile, weak, and apathetic creatures and started taking care of the members of the body.
Do we look at struggling members of our body and walk away being “thankful that its not us”? OR……Do we surround that member, with our face toward the enemy and declare God’s grace and mercy and cover them with our prayers. There is a reason we take up the full armor of God…..We have a shield that will quench the fiery darts…..not just for ourselves but for our brothers and sisters as well.

Be an Aca-Prac

January 26, 2008

This week at worship planning we coined a new word–aca-prac. It came out of our discussion of the dynamic of teaching and doing, or putting into practice. I remarked that many churches “major” on either teaching for teaching sake, or going out and “loving” and “serving,” for loving and serving sake. Paul says that both are required. We have to know what we believe to keep from being tossed to and fro. Being tossed around either stops our serving, or gives us a wrong attitude towards it. Likewise, it is wrong to just learn, learn, learn, without putting our gifts into service.

It seems to me that many of us begin our faith in one of the two types of churches mentioned above. Then, when we find out that there is more to the faith than just learning or serving, we switch to a church where the part of our spiritual life that was missing is focused on. This also leaves us with a bad taste for those who haven’t yet been enlightened.

Along comes a church that stresses both, and we tend to see it as dangerously calling us back to whatever we have seen as incomplete. For example, if we left a teaching church for a doing church, if we get to a church that stresses both, we will be on guard that it is not just another teaching church. Likewise, if we left a serving church for a teaching church, we will suspect that a balanced church is really unbalanced towards service. Do you see how it works?

So, our goal at Connections is to take “academics” and introduce them to the outlets for their learning. The same way, we want those who are eager to serve to first learn. What we want are Aca-Pracs. We’ll talk more about this on Sunday.

Tomorrow’s Sunday Teaching Time-Spiritual Gifts

January 12, 2008

During our teaching time at 10AM we will be looking at Spiritual Gifts. You can read ahead at  I Cor. 12 (all), Romans 12:3-8, I Cor. 13:1-3 and I Peter 4:10-11 to get prepared. We will do this study in two weeks. Tomorrow we will look at why we have the gifts, what they are, how they are used, etc. An important point to keep in mind is that all believers have gifts, and they are supposed to use them. Contrast that with the stereotypical church where the staff uses gifts and the membership shows up. As we will see during the worship service, Paul says that leads to a church that never grows or matures. See ya there, Lord willing!

Christians Walk Like Frosty The Snowman

January 4, 2008

You remember the Frosty song, don’t you. Part of it goes, Hippity hop-hop, Hippity hop-hop, look at Frosty Go! Well, while preparing for Sunday’s sermon on unity, I discovered an interesting fact. Church hopping statistics show that Christians are hippity hopping from their churches with regularity. One stat says that 25% of a Congregation will change churches within the next five years.

I suppose that some of those hoppers have good reason to switch. On the other hand, lots of web sites I found show that the idea of belonging to a church “family” is a foreign concept to most people today. Many attend three or four churches with regularity. They go to church, they aren’t the church.

It should be no wonder that evangelicals have a higher divorce rate than unbelievers. I know where they learned it! Commitment is not something that we feel comfortable teaching or practicing. We put our felt needs before others, and if we aren’t having our needs met, out we go. Gone are the days where we would try to fix it. We just leave.

Dodge motor company has an interesting commercial out for the Grand Caravan. Mom suggests that the family get in the car for a drive. Nobody wants to go, but they go anyway. The drive gives them a chance to connect with one another. The final scene shows the three kids, two teens and a younger brother, together on the tailgage. Sis says to her little brother, “Billy, I guess you are an okay brother.” He replies, “It’s Bobby.”

Connecting seems to be the first place to start in establishing a family atmosphere for a church. How do we accomplish that in a society where we are “lightly” connected in so many activities and places? If we don’t know Bobby well enough to keep his name straight, how can we ever be committed to him? I hope to explore some of this more in Sunday School this week.

What do you think?