Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sermon time

It is sermon time! In way of explanation, for some unknown reason, God has sent to our Wednesday night church dinners, a flood of teenagers (of every hue). They are sometimes rowdy and loud. They do not act like "normal" church kids. I emphasize the word "sent" because there is no other explanation. We did not go out and invite or "round them up".

I suspect many Christians have the idea that if those of the world would just come to church, then we could really minister to them. However, I observe that is not true. Only if they behave like we want them to behave, do we feel comfortable with them. Three times in the last two weeks, I have heard statements that indicate "we are not taking care of our own youth because they are afraid and don't get anything out of it with all the rowdiness". My reply was "our youth" are from Christian homes, they should be getting the teaching there. Those who are coming are getting little to no spiritual instruction in their homes.

However, after much thought, I am going to tell it like it really is. If we decided to plan a mission trip to the slums of Mexico (we have done that in the past), parents and youth of our members would get on board to see that they had money to go. Is there danger in Mexico? You bet! Do those people need ministering? Most definitely. But isn't it ironic that we have our own mission field IN THE CHURCH BUILDING, and all we can do it make excuses for why "our" kids have dropped out.

Frankly, I told God I would be a missionary as a young person...then life sidetracked me. I have come to the realization that the mission field looked glamorous. But I think God is showing me I am a missionary wherever I am. I am cooking for kids who enjoy a good meal, who like the fellowship of their friends, and who stay for a Bible study and worship time. Several of us have been walking through our church on Wednesday afternoon, begging God to do a mighty work in this group of young people...and we get excited when He does.

Would you believe that the New Years night lock-in had 60(SIXTY!) youth show up? And after a message given at midnight, 20 (TWENTY!) young people were at the altar (with not enough adults present to counsel them).

Kids, you want to be a missionary? Come and rub elbows with kids you may not see as "cool" but who need a Savior. Get to know them. Hear them confess, "I really don't want to be a troublemaker and use curse words". They are not outcasts. They are human beings God created, died for on a cross, and He is wooing and calling them to Himself. If you get to know them, then you can speak to them at school, and set an example both at school and at church - one that says, "You are worth my time, so maybe your Jesus is also worth knowing".

If you really don't want to come on Wednesday night, why are you not at youth activities on Sunday afternoon, or Sunday School on Sunday morning. Both of those are available without a large crowd with which to contend. Parents, let's get real about this. Quit making excuses for your kids, and quit swallowing their excuses. If you want to check it out, come with your kids for the Wednesday night meal, and volunteer to help with the activities in either youth or children's department on Wednesday evening.

Don't like my comments? I am so glad it is a free country, and it is my blog. If you want to comment, go ahead. We can disagree and still be agreeable because God died for all of us and we are all precious in his sight.

Monday, January 16, 2012


  1. My God is my provider and security, and I am content in His care.
  2. He makes me feel safe and protected; He causes me to feel calm and peaceful.
  3. He helps me to regain strength by refreshing me; He keeps me on a safe path because of who He is.
  4. He walks with me through the dangerous, dark paths where He has gone before, so I am not afraid; I am comforted both by His protection and guidance.
  5. He goes before me and prepares my daily needs wherever I might be; He heals my pain; I am truly blessed.
  6. He will remain with me all the days of my life and I will dwell with Him forever.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Escaping the "Church Bubble"

I am reading a book by Dan Kimball entitled They Like Jesus but Not the Church. He describes how Christian people become so immersed in the church family, that they lose all touch with those in the world who are lost and on their way to hell. I clearly see myself in this description. Now, how do I break out? Jesus prayed for the disciples in John 17:15 "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." He was in the world, but not of the world. His life was immersed in those who were hurting, outcasts (by religious standards), rich and poor alike. It was there that He ministered. He did set aside time to teach His disciples, so the church does have a place. But I believe we are also to be "in the world". Do we not hide our lights when we are always among the other light bearers? When does anyone outside my Christian friends ever get a taste of my "salt" and see my "light"? My prayer: Lord, show me how I can find a place in our community where I can touch the lives of those who are turned off by church and Christians. This is the mission field where you have placed me.