It Seems To Me.
I got into a very interesting discussion on a form of Social Media a day or two ago.
I've just always wanted to say Social Media, but haven't, until now. Frankly, it wasn't that much fun.
Anyway, the point under discussion was whether there was something wrong with our being more concerned with people crossing our borders into our country ... illegally ... than we are with crossing them ourselves, to go to them in Jesus' name (ostensibly the reason). My position was that we all should be concerned about the protection of our nation, but not all will be concerned ... the exact word used was passionate ... about going on missions. And everything was OK. Until I actually expressed that opinion.
Katy, bar the door!
Before I attack that thought, let's talk about valuations. Let's say you're in a minor rear-ender, and the doctor tells you that you should rest in bed for a week. I know what would happen.
Day one, you'd stay down pretty much. Up for the usual necessities.
Day two: you'd stay in bed a while, but probably move to the couch and lie there watching TV.
Day Three: probably in the recliner as long as it didn't hurt. Maybe up in the afternoon doing some light stuff as long as it felt OK.
The rest of the week, you'd take it decreasingly easy.
Hold that thought.
Change the scenario: the rear-ender was worse than most, and the doctor tells you there's this sliver of bone up against your spinal cord, and if you get out of bed in less than 7 days, you'll never walk again!
Chances are pretty good you'd stay in bed for 7 whole days and maybe an extra or two, just to be safe.
Why the difference? Same instructions, different outcome. Well, I'll tell you.
Second case, you'd see the value. You'd see the importance of doing what you were told.
Now, back to the Social Media "discussion". To me, the Bible is abundantly clear that (A) The church .. the ekklesia ... is a body. The Body of Christ. The flesh He wants to commandeer when He has something He wants done down here, and (B) Every member of the Body down here has been gifted specifically for the purpose that God has in mind. For the Kingdom work that God desires us to do, and (C) That message has not been effectively impressed on the minds and hearts of church members, in light of the pitiful percentage of members who actually participate in the work of the Church ... the Ekklesia. Let alone the equally pitiful percentage of church members who actually come to our Sunday School Classes and Worship Services.
In our church, Sunday School attendance approximates 25% of membership. And, as I suspect most churches are, the percentage of members actually participating in the work of the church is much lower. Pitifully so.
I don't respond well when someone tells me what my passion should be. God said, in Psalm 37:4, that HE will give me the request .. the petition .. the desire of my heart, if I will delight in Him. The things I'll desire .. the things I'll petition Him about ... the subjects of my prayers.
And I don't think God is subcontracting that job out to anybody that I've heard of. Or I think He'd have said that.
Back to the percentages. I think our doing what God has placed in our hearts ... what He's gifted us to do, is the very heart of the abundant life. And if that's the case, why do so few seem to want that?
Personally, I believe it's because, collectively, the leaders in the local church have not done a good job of leading their people to understand the value of leading an abundant life. That could be related to preaching, to teaching, to how we take members in ... as in admitting as members people who have no intention of being actively involved. I don't know. But somebody ought to be able to find out, and I think it'd be important.
Some time back, I blogged about the Jamaica Baptist Union, here. Last I heard, they have 330 member churches, led by 122 ministers, with 40,000 church members. And they have around 10,000 attend their annual meeting. I know a lot of the folks in the Red Hills Baptist Church there, and almost all of them are eager to be, and are, involved in the work of the church.
Most of them walk uphill to church. Either three of four times per week.
What's the difference here? Perhaps Proverbs 6:10-11 gives some indication, if there's a spiritual meaning to it..... "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need like a bandit.
I hope the SBC is doing a better job overseas than it is domestically. The numbers are pretty sad. It seems to me that, before we can really focus properly on leading overseas operations, we'd want to get things in our own back yard straightened out.
It seems to me.