Ron Edmondson recently posted the 7 most frustrating and the 7 most exciting things a pastor sees. He has great insight into what’s good and bad in church. His thoughts can give us some ideas about what should and shouldn’t happen “in church.”
He is frustrated by people who abuse power or position, hypocrisy, rumor spreading, selfishness, tradition, time wasters, and half-heartedness. In these feelings, he seems a lot like Jesus. Jesus’ harshest words were for those in power. He called them hypocrites. As to rumor spreading, He said, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is said whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs” (Matt 10:26-27). He focused on putting others above ourselves. His ministry was certainly not about tradition. He wasted no time and did nothing and encouraged nothing that was half-hearted.
Edmondson is encouraged by note takers, sacrificial givers, visitors and the people who invite them, servant hearts, new people joining the church and when the church is the church. Here it seems that Edmondson is just like most of us. He wants folks to come to church for the purpose of following Jesus and of getting others to do the same. He knows that note takers intend to use what they hear. He knows sacrificial givers are serious about the church. He knows the purpose of church is make the unchurched, churched. Jesus called it “making disciples.” Finally, he knows that church isn’t what happens on Sunday. The purpose of Sunday is to enable us to be the church the rest of the week.
The purpose of church is so simple. How do we make it so complicated and so “about us.” We do it by going to get something instead of giving something. What we should get is encouragement. Encouragement is a strange thing. You can only get it by giving it.
If you go to church today bring your bible, a note pad, your wallet and a neighbor. Look to see what needs to be done. Be alert for whose hurting. Do something about what you see. You will encourage your pastor and those around you and, most surprising of all, you will come away encouraged and that’s the only reason to go in the first place.
If you aren’t going to do these things don’t go. Because if you’re not helping, you’re hurting. You can abuse power, be a hypocrite, spread a rumor, be selfish, relish your traditions, waste time, and be half-hearted at home. You’re not needed at church. We’ve got work to do and we don’t need distractions.
Be the church and be blessed.