Just finished watch the president brief us on the budget crisis. I sure hope somebody has a working answer! It’s not unusual for us as a country, community, church or family to have problems. But, it sure seems like a cumulative lot at this time. We all know friends or family who are looking for work, changing jobs or having to move. We have friends who have lost their house through a fire and know others who struggle to make the mortgage. Our work is so much more careful due to medicare cutbacks. All of us pay more for insurance, which does less for us. Schools budgets are cut and teachers fear unemployment. Churches struggle with budgets as giving has decreased with the bad economy. Our population is aging and decisions must be made to be closer to our elderly loved ones. Mass chaos continues in shooting sprees, suicides, drug and alcohol abuse…..Watching the local or national news is disheartening! “Woe is me” seems to be message that sells commercial space on TV!
Yet, most people drive a car, watch cable TV and have cell phones. All good things but much luxury. Many Americans could lose a few pounds (about 40 for me) which says that we are neither fasting with our prayers nor starving. Billions of dollars will change hands as we entertain ourselves at sporting events. The average concert ticket is over $50 bucks.
Seems that in the community arena, we need to use some common sense! If we can’t afford our schools, stop building boat ramp?. If we can’t afford to buy groceries, why do cigarette and alcohol sales continue? If you can’t pay your rent, you don’t need a smart phone!
Confused about how to deal with changing times? Commit yourselves to God and be a follower of Jeus Christ! Paul addressed hard times in 1 Corinthians 7. Basically, do what is right and let the extra go. Enjoy your marriages, your children, your family and loved ones. Want to get married but can’t afford a big wedding? The court house was good enough for many who stayed married for life. Want a dream vacation? Explore your back yard. Catch a fish! Throw a ball with the kids (or a frisbee). Play with the cat or dog! Read a book! Bake a cake and take 1/2 to the neighbors.
Can’t afford the expensive ministries at church. You can sing for free! We don’t need DVD’s to watch. We can always read the Bible! Have a potluck regularly as a hospitality meal. Make a card! Make a phone call! Touch a hand!
We don’t have it bad in America! Read the book of Lamentations! That was a BAD situation! We are just having to prioritize!
How many of you has ever went to the store for a loaf of bread? Ok, all of us. How many of you have gotten so wrapped up “shopping” that you filled up the basket with groceries and FORGOT THE BREAD? Yes, me too! I get so busy with the little things in life that I forget the reason for my trip.
If I were to work with a struggling church to help them grow, I would remind them to not forget the BREAD. The BASICS…the REASON…the PURPOSE.
So….what is the purpose? Paul said “the most important thing is this. Jesus Christ died, was buried and was resurrected”. For you and me! For our sins! BREAD indeed!
Want to build a church (or help one grow)?
You could buy a self help book. A church growth book by “experts” (the SUPER Saints) who know more than we do! Hire another credentialed “preacher” from preacher academy. Buy a canned program like alot of churches do for VBS these days. Have a GOSPEL meeting for our members…….
It’s time to OPEN OUR BIBLES! The best church growth program ever is recorded in ACTS chapters 1 & 2.
- Be where you are supposed to be
- Iron out the daily business/organize
- When GOD arrives, be amazed
- Let GOD draw the crowd and don’t discriminate when he sends different folks than you would choose
- Ignore the critics! They don’t want it anyway!
- Tell the good news!
- Accept that others believe it.
- Hear their confession of faith and accept their change of heart
- Assist with their need to be baptized
- Study the word daily
- Spend alot of time together
- Never forget what Jesus has done for you!
- Let GOD grant the increase
Unfortunately, most churches have gotten very busy being the church that Jesus is left out! People don’t need another system. They need their saviour!
I have a new hero! Katie Davis! She is 22 years old, pretty and ….. has 13 children! That’s right! 13 foster children. Did I mention that she is from Tennessee and lives in Uganda….with 13 children. I heard her story the other day on NPR. Four years ago she was the homecoming queen at her high school in Brentwood, TN. She had a yellow convertible and planned to study nursing in college. Those plans have changed! Today she is either the foster parent or legal guardian for the 13 girls, ages 2-15. She hopes to adopt all of them. She traveled to Uganda in ’07 and worked in a kindergarten. It was a temporay job and she planned to return in the fall and start college. But, a mud hut collapsed on 3 AIDS orphans. One of the girls had no family so she took in Agnes. More girls arrived. One by one. All alone and without hope. Now there are 13.
Interesting facts…. the local government at times resists her efforts to care for these children. She hasn’t been back to go to nursing school but does alot of nursing, both to the children and to the local community. She idolizes mother Theresa who also served the poor and unwanted. She teaches the children about Jesus and his love. She drives around town in a van and awaits the opportunity to adopt (legally) all of them! She wants to someday marry and have biological children but…. not now!
Reminds me of the starfish story. The man was walking on a beach and rescuing stranded starfish. Could he save all of them. No! But he saved those that he could!