Tag Archives: buildings

Does the Church Have a False View of Self?

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.  1 Timothy 1:15-16

eye in the mirrorDoes it matter whether or not Paul was in fact the “foremost sinner” before coming to Christ? Or, is the more important point that he perceived himself as such? Yeh, I think so too. It is the self-perception on this issue which matters most.

I think  two of the biggest problems for most Christ-followers today is (1) having a false sense of who God is, and (2) having a false sense of who we are without him. The gospel is difficult in the American culture because there are so many in this culture who, frankly, do not feel the need for a savior.  What’s worse, the church has become less effective as those of us in the church have tended to forget for ourselves just how desperately we need a savior. Still.

Churches, you see, can have a false sense of self just as well as individuals…we can actually stop remembering who we are without God. We can get so wrapped up in “doing church” that we lose sight of what matters most. Specifically, here are five ways I have seen us have a false sense of self…here are some lies we sometimes believe about our church:

1. We’re better because our music/preaching/buildings/programming/resources are better. Truth is, we are probably not better at all. But IF we are better, it is only because of the work of the Spirit among us. All the stuff we do…is just stuff. …

And We Wonder Why We’re Drifting

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”  Luke 21:1-6

What is it about this story that is sad and ridiculous and oh, so appropriate to us today?

While Jesus was watching the stuff of eternal significance, we were all watching the stuff that was just temporal and would be gone in the blink of an eye.

[sigh]

© Blake Coffee
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It is Always About the People

Tuesday Re-mix –

My Dad had a kind of a rule when we went on vacation.  Well, maybe it was just a strong preference or philosophy.  Sometimes those things all can sound the same with Dad.  🙂  Dad felt strongly that, when taking pictures on vacation, there should be a person in every one of them.  In other words, a vacation picture without a person in it is just a waste of film.  So, anytime we saw something noteworthy or cool and wanted to take a picture of it, Dad wanted someone (ANYONE) to go and stand by the thing for the picture.  I followed that philosophy most of the time, but am just going to confess now that, as I have grown a little older, I have often broken that rule and have taken some pictures of some pretty amazing scenery…without any people in them.

But perhaps that preference says more about Dad and what is important to him than it does about his taste for photography.  You see, Dad is a pastor.  Irrespective of his various titles and positions in ministry, in his heart he has always been a pastor.  To him, people are important.  In fact, they are the most important thing.

I would like to think I have learned that preference from him, especially where the church is concerned.  It is all about the people.

I think it is easy to make it about other things…the buildings, the budget, the music, the parking, the numbers, the location, the constitution & by-laws, the committees, the votes, the worship planning, the strategic planning, the reports, the offices, the retreats, the concerts, and I could go on and on.  You get the picture.  But even as important as most of those things are, they are never more important than …