Sunday, December 18, 2011

Grow Up Church!

If you don't feel like listening to a bit of frustrated ranting and raving, move along. You've been warned. For those of you who like a bit of sass with your morning coffee put your feet up and stay awhile.

While visiting a church recently I about fell out of my chair. The pastor was getting ready to teach when he told the congregation, "I'm not going to put any of you on the spot if you haven't brought your Bible this morning."

Was he kidding? I had barely noticed anyone carrying Bibles...and this was the encouragement from the pulpit?

Attempting to befriend every person in the audience, this pastor went on to explain, "I believe pastors shame their congregation when they ask them to raise their hands for a Bible before a Sunday teaching."

I was floored. Shame us? What shame is there in raising your hand for a Bible in church? If we were taking a math class we'd bring our math books. Would a math teacher be shaming his student by loaning him a math book before a lesson?

My girlfriend leads a woman's Bible study and shared with me how the majority of the women don't bring their Bibles to study with them and how she is going to have to address this at their next gathering.


Ministry leaders listen up: what we draw them with we draw them to. Stop trying to please people in your pews with shiny lights, silly whistles and pretty bells and start pleasing God by expecting more from your congregation. Here's a tip: Bringing a Bible to church is a good place to start.

The church is standing on very dangerous ground when they attempt to bring God to the people without His Word instead of bringing the people to God with His Word.

If you find yourself coming to church without your Bible and attending for the sole purpose of benefits such as friends, business contacts, and free donuts, join a club instead.

There is NEVER shame in bringing a Bible anywhere. God's Word convicts the comfortable and comforts the convicted. As much as we all enjoy an entertaining speaker during a Sunday service, only the supernatural Word of God will be an anchor for a person during storms that inevitably come. When a life shatters upon the rocks and despair sets in, they won't be hanging onto a funny punch line or witty retort as their lifesaver.

Grow up church! My own children have never known hunger or thirst. Yet, if they behaved like they were entitled to the gifts I give them it would infuriate me. The same feelings erupt when I see believers take their salvation and freedom of religion lightly. Children of God remember this - you have been saved by grace - undeserved, unmerited favor. Stop whining and crying for your one Sunday feeding, just to return your gratefulness by leaving your Bible behind each week.

With your tummies now full, you retreat to your long winters nap of self-centered, me-me-me spiritual mediocrity.

How very sad.

I think somebody needs a spanking.

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1Peter 2:2-3

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