Thinking Out Loud

November 26, 2016

Always Something There to Remind Me

Filed under: Christianity, Church — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 11:48 am

reminderEvery Thursday afternoon I get an email from my church reminding me what’s happening at weekend services. It’s somewhat the same every week — I’ve told them a weekly verse of scripture and a graphic people can use on their Instagram and Facebook accounts would help — but it’s definitely appreciated. (Someone even takes the time to make sure things happening between its arrival and Sunday morning are covered for one last time.)

We live in a world where we need to be reminded of things. We’re too busy. We’re too forgetful.

For years in my early 20s I attended a weekly Bible study that was held in a private home and wasn’t associated with a particular church. Each week the leader would phone, remind me, and then ask for a direct commitment; “Will you be there this week?” He was a very busy guy in the commercial banking industry and besides leading the study, he took time to phone the entire list every week. By doing so he had extra contact with us. (I look back now and see it as the equivalent of the traditional ‘pastor at the door’ thing on Sunday mornings.)

This morning I attended a men’s Bible study at another church. I mentioned that it’s too bad they don’t have a phone list, or better yet, an email list. This particular church has leveraged social media well; they have a good person at the helm of this who knows the internet, but her particular strategy has been more Facebook-oriented whereas I still see that as skewing slightly more to a female demographic. I believe traditional email might work well to remind the guys to come for the breakfast.

This church also doesn’t have a church directory which includes email addresses. The church I mentioned first does do this and it allows people to continue the conversations started on Sundays throughout the week; to initiate contact; or to follow up with friends they haven’t seen in awhile.

But back to reminders: I think we need them. We also need the encouragement to join in on various church activities in a general social climate where many find themselves isolated.


Related: Here are three devotionals which deal with our tendency to forget.

Tangentially: Email bulletins reduce the number which need to be printed each week, thereby saving the environment. Phone calls to ministry group members also reduce the need for printed bulletin inserts.

 

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May 17, 2011

They Like Church But Not Jesus

Filed under: Church — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:23 am

Several years ago Dan Kimball wrote a book (which also became a DVD) titled They Like Jesus But Not The Church.  It was a much needed book at the time which pointed out a sector of western society that has a high regard for the person of Jesus of Nazareth, but a rather low regard for the institution that bears his name.   The publisher blurb was:  “An overview of the six most common objections emerging generations have with church and Christianity along with the biblical answers to these objections and examples of how churches are facing this challenge.”

But I often wonder if now there isn’t a need for a corresponding book titled They Like The Church But Not Jesus.  I’m thinking of the people who live for the committees, the meetings, the ‘business’ of church.  I’m thinking of the people who thrive on the worship band or choir, the programs, the Sunday event itself.  I’m thinking of people who get excited talking about the missions conference, the Sunday School picnic, the current sermon series. I’m thinking of people who are, as one person put it, “So into the things of the Lord that they’ve missed the Lord of the things.”   What could we call them?  Churchaphiles?  Church junkies?

I write from personal knowledge.

I think there are times when I get so consumed, so distracted, so sidetracked by the excitement of what we do when we go to God’s house that we sometimes forget that the host of the party longs to meet us at the front door, but in the rushing past, we miss Him.  Okay, we don’t exactly don’t like Jesus, but we’ve got blinders on because we’re too busy doing church.

And here’s the kicker:  I think the odds of this happening are just as great in a small, rural country chapel as they are in an urban megachurch located at the intersection of two freeways.  Furthermore, I think those of us who blog and read blogs and are really into what’s going on in the big-C Church run the greatest risk of getting so caught up in church that we miss Jesus.

 Revelation 2:4-5a“But you walked away from your first love—why? What’s going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you’ve fallen?…Turn back! Recover your dear early love. No time to waste…  [The Message]


Classic and modern worship
If you check the right hand margin over at Christianity 201, you’ll see that all of the various music resources that have appeared there are now listed and linked alphabetically. Take a moment to discover — or re-discover — some worship songs with spirit and substance.

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