It’s the church’s responsibility to meet my needs

How many times have I have heard someone say: “I left that church because they weren’t meeting my needs.”

The thing I’m struggling with is the vision of a church as a place where our needs ought to be met, as if we were entering a shop, then storming out because the service did not meet our expectations. All of which begs the question: Is the purpose of a church to meet my needs? Is that why we join a church – in order to be served? Continue reading “It’s the church’s responsibility to meet my needs”

Judge Not!

Do you know what I like about gardens? Wait; that question is WAY too open-ended! It could be answered a thousand ways!

One thing I like about gardens is that nobody can say, “You did that wrong,” when it comes to garden design.

This doesn’t mean you can’t do anything wrong in a garden. I might plant an iris too deeply, or in a spot that’s too wet; but this is about the arrangement of the garden, not the techniques. Continue reading “Judge Not!”

That good part

“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:40-42 NKJV).

In South Asia there is a popular saying that every evangelist soon learns: “No eating, no meeting!” In other words, if you plan for people to gather for hours listening to sermons or Bible lessons, there needs to be some thought given to providing refreshment. That may seem to us like greed or self-interest, but in those cultures if people give up several hours of their day for spiritual purposes they are also forfeiting the time that would ordinarily be spent in preparing meals for themselves and their families. There are few microwaves or frozen dinners in those nations. Continue reading “That good part”

Johnny Jump-Up

Finding volunteers among children who count their years in single digits can be as slow as watching a Japanese maple grow. But wait; then they turn into teenagers. The slow response turns into no response. By then a wise mother has learned enough to stop asking for volunteers. She becomes a one-woman draft board, who assigns a task as if it were a non-negotiable mission!

I have never seen a church that had a waiting list of willing Bible class teachers, have you? Unless that list is comprised of Bible class teachers waiting for a break in teaching, that is! Other work in the churches are often left to the elders and the preacher…if the preacher is fortunate enough to have working elders. Continue reading “Johnny Jump-Up”

We all have filthy feet

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14).

The contrast is remarkable. Jesus knew he would be betrayed and arrested any minute, and his disciples were bickering over trivial things (cf. Luke 22:24). We sit here on the high horse of historical advantage and look down on them for their immaturity and lack of perception.

None of them fully understood the gravity of what was happening in front of them. The betrayer was at the table, and Jewish leaders were just waiting for him to give the signal. Within a matter of moments, Jesus would be taken from them, mistreated, unjustly accused, savagely tortured, mocked and nailed to a Roman cross to await the inevitable mercy only death could bring. As they celebrated Passover, little did Jesus’ disciples know that before the same hour the following day, Jesus’ body would be lying in Joseph’s tomb. Continue reading “We all have filthy feet”