Monday, August 20, 2007

Church Growth

I've been thinking about the different ways churches try to grow, not in a critical way necessarily, but I've realized it's a tricky business. We are told to go into all the world, to seek the lost, to bring sinners to repentence. We're not sure what to do, but we know we can't just sit around and do nothing, so we do the best be can.....

Some try to "evangilize." To most people this brings thoughts of hellfireandbrimstone preaching right there on someones front porch, AM radio dial, or on the public access cable channel.

Some try to entertain with concerts, dynamic preaching, and youth programs guaranteed to keep 66% of your kids off drugs or your money back.

Others try the "bait and switch" by hosting community events in their building, providing a place for the Boy Scouts and Alcoholic Anonymos to meet, hosting a community carnival, etc...anything to get people onto the property and then once inside they can be confronted with "well, since you've been coming here using our facility for this, why don't you come for THIS?", as a church member hands them a brochure with a brief description of Jesus, the church's worship method, and the times during the week they gather to utilize said method.

I believe the most successful way to grow a church (I didn't say my favorite, I said most successful) requires no effort at all. A bunch of people just have to get mad at each other at another church. That church disintigrates, people flee, and another church experiences a boost in membership.

And some are still using what I call the Jesus and His Apostles method. Being nice to the people they come across day by day, telling the people the truth even though it makes the hearer uncomfortable, taking care of widows and orphans, and poor folks, telling those who are interested how God has done marvelous things in their lives. This is my favorite, and though it may not do much to grow your church, I believe that it does plant seeds of the Kingdom that you or someone else may water. The Lord will bring about the harvest and deposit it in whichever congregation he sees fit. Might be yours. Might not.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Quiet Revolution

Leslie and I rented Doctor Zhivago this weekend. It takes place around the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. When we went to bed last night, she said she hoped we never had to go through a time like that. My reply was, "Give it 10 or 15 years and see what happens. Our grandkids will live in a very different world."

Al Queda won't break this nation, but our polititians could. Everytime I hear that congress has approved $5 billion for this or that. I can feel them reaching into my pocket and helping themselves. We are edging closer and closer to socialism. Liberals are thrilled by it, but it's the 60 or 70 % of Americans that don't vote that scares me. A levy breaks, or a bridge falls down, or a Mexican kid needs a new laptop and a college education and they cry out for the government to do something about it. So the politicians throw money at the problems, my money and yours, and we step closer to the edge again. Socialism looks good on paper, but in real life it suppresses the human spirit and provides a breeding ground for corruption.

I love my nation, but I have no faith that it will last forever or that our government has the power to save the world. I must put my faith in God the Father and teach my children to lean on the everlasting arms.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Like sands through the hourglass....

My days at home consist of Strawberry Shortcake band-aids, sippy cups, "I'm gonna get you"s followed by squeals of laughter, and saying no 10,482 times. Being a daddy is fun. Being a father is hard. I hope I'm doing it right.

My days at work (I'm gone for about 36 hrs at a time) consist of missing my wife and kids and knowing that those are hours I can never get back. However, if you think that way too much, then no one would go to work or bed we'd just sit around staring at our kids and slowly go sleepily crazy together.

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