Friday, September 29, 2006

Going "backwards"

A larger congregation where a friend preaches recently decided to "swarm" rather than build a new building, so about 70 left, including the preacher. The next time I saw him I playfully chided him about his decision. I told him, "You've got this all wrong. You're supposed to go from a small church to a larger church, not vice versa. What will this do for your "career"?" We both laughed because obviously he's not too concerned about his "career". I know an older preacher who recently left a self supporting church to work with a church that is not and never has been, but needs a good solid man to work with them. Their former preacher is leaving to dedicate himself to the work in India.

What's wrong with these preachers? Don't they know what this can do to their "careers"? I believe they know very well and realize that their career is not simply to preach the Word, but to preach where it is needed the most. Preachers are just like everybody else--sometimes our emphasis is on the wrong thing, money and the things of this world. There is a world dying in sin out there and many of us are busy in the office and working with our "number", forgetting those whom we need to reach out to.

How many Christians are not willing to make the sacrifices to really serve the Lord? They may attend most, if not all, services, give money to the Lord, but their real emphasis is on the things of this world. A friend was telling Dana and I that her Bible class of 4 students frequently had 1 or 2 in attendance, occasionally 3 but never all 4. I don't know why, but I doubt these families were missing services for something sinful, but the fact is they missed a great many. Why? Again, I don't know all the circumstances, but obviously Bible class is not a high priority.

Being a Christian requires to go "backwards", at least as far as the world is concerned. Our Lord said as much. When you read the beatitudes it is clear that His idea of what a person should be is diametrically opposed to what the world thinks. Yet He says such "losers" will be truly happy, not only in heaven but here on earth.

So which way are you going, forward or backward?


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