I think the church in the Bible Belt has a HUGE challenge before it… detoxing ‘believers’ and reorienting them towards the Gospel.
Ever thought something about church, Christianity, religion, etc. and was too afraid to voice it? An innovative blogger asked this question some time ago and is now posing it again. Read the responses here.
So I am standing at the end of aisle six at one of our local Walmarts last weekend visiting with a family from Water’s Edge about how they were planning on shopping for their recipient family, and a quick statement by the wife caught me off guard… at least when my slow-moving mind figured out the power of the statement. As you may have read here, our church engaged in an all-out weekend to serve our city with fierce intentionality. As a leader you hope that these chapters in the life of a church will somehow plant themselves deeply in the hearts and minds of the congregation so that the actual activity level begins to see a shift to things that really matter. You pray, work, plan and execute with this in mind, but many times what you bring to the venture is just to set the stage for God. Continue reading
Go and Be, 2009
Today our church celebrated what has become an annual emphasis on community engagement… “Go and Be.” We literally shut the doors and did not hold services today and instead had projects all over the region to serve others. It may appear to be somewhat concocted, and it probably is, but necessary to help a typical congregation to be others-focused. As good of an idea as it is, we still hear complaints. You just have to press through those comments and be about what’s right.
Our little band at Water’s Edge met at the church before being sent out to provide groceries to a number of families in the area. We found out about these families through the grapevine, so they didn’t know we were coming. I was a little concerned as to the reception our families would receive when they knocked on any of those doors. You hope that poeple would be appreciative, but it has be to tough to be confronted with your adverse circumstances by a complete stranger. So we sort of warned our folks and asked them to be prayerful as to how they would approach the family. Some simply left the groceries at the front door, while others had the privilege of having a conversation to encourage the recipient. All in all, a good day.
Our families had a simple and effective teaching moment for their children. It was great to hear the families mixing it up with one another talking about what should be purchased and how they would want to bless this mysterious family. It was certainly one my best trips to Walmart! Sometimes the easiest way to come alongside another and help them is to meet their most immediate need, and a few groceries was just that.
On Tuesday night I had the privilege of sitting down with some dear friends from my childhood in Seattle. Marian and Mark were here visiting and reuniting with long time colleagues of her husband (Mark’s dad) at the air base in Fort Worth. Dan was a heavy influence upon my young life growing up in Seattle. He passed a while back, and it was good medicine to visit with his wife and son.
As we sat there at a restaurant in Richardson for nearly 3 hours, something dawned on me. Marian is older than my mother, and Mark is more like an uncle to me. The conversation was non-stop, yet there was really nothing to point at as a commonality between nearly three generations represented at that small table. I wondered to myself how can these three adults sit and talk like best friends with such a varied age distribution and life station? Continue reading
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