“Doing church” or “Doing God’s work”?
July 12, 2020
I don’t remember much about being on the 7th and 8th grade basketball team at Goodpasture school. I was not and am not very athletic. In fact, if I run from one end of the court to the other without tripping over my feet or running over somebody, it would be an amazing accomplishment! We won’t even discuss running down the court while trying to dribble a basketball! One thing I do remember is coach Ronnie Sarver telling us not to worry so much about what the other team was doing. Instead, we should be concerned about executing what we were supposed to do. Mr. Van Dyke, our band director, told us the same thing. That same advice worked for me in the restaurant business as well. I wasn’t nearly as concerned with what the restaurant next door or across the street was doing nearly as much as I fretted over what we were doing in ours. Let’s switch gears and think about spiritual things for a minute. As a pastor, I get all kinds of emails and advertisements telling me how so and so church grew from four people to six thousand, four hundred sixty-two in six months by using the latest, greatest handy dandy church growth formula. They promise the same results for the flock that I shepherd if only we would “do church” the way they “do church”. Contemporary churches tell us that the routine of traditional services is no longer in style and we need to be different. The trouble is, the contemporary churches are for the most part doing contemporary church in the same way, and while seeking to be fresh and relevant, they all look and sound the same. I am not knocking contemporary church, nor am I defending traditional church. All churches, if they aren’t careful, get so busy trying to “do church” better than the church next door or across the street that they no longer seek counsel with God, letting HIM fill our hearts with HIS vision for our congregations. The church I shepherd needs to focus on being the best church she can be for our faith family and for our community, no matter what churches around us are doing. This trickles down to us personally as well. Someone once asked me if I was worried about the things in the Bible that I did not understand. I replied that I was way more concerned about not being diligent and faithful to obey and fulfill the things I DO understand! Church, let’s get busy doing what God has called us to do. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to the church down the road and get busy making disciples. Jesus followers, let’s quit comparing ourselves to others and start looking to imitate the Master and we will find ourselves with our hands full being the best Jesus follower we can be and we might just be surprised who might tag along with us for the journey!
Be blessed and be a blessing! Brother Andy