Monday, September 29, 2008

Do be Do be DO...

Well my friend Mandy is finishing her month of 'do' and since I had been sidelined for a few days, I hadn't swung by her blog in a while.

So tonight I made a point of running over and boy did over that is.

What I left for comments would have easily passed for a post, or a short term paper. As I trotted off to bed I realized if I felt that passionate about the subject I best post my thoughts over here as well.

During the course of discussing all the 'do'in on Mandy's, the comments were getting pretty sad, sorry and leaning heavily into standard negative stereotypes regarding the Church's...not the Church as the body of Christ so much, but the physical buildings that constitute places of worship for a great percentage of the American population.

Personally I admit to being similarly discouraged at one time and wondering what the Body of Christ could accomplish if most churches really modeled what is presented in the book of Acts. I yearned for the possibility, but like so many others bought into a lie years ago and believing a book of Acts church would never be a reality in my lifetime or on this planet.

I was wrong...I was wrong in a big way.

Many churches get caught up in themselves, their buildings, ornamentation, dynamic music, programs along with piles of legalities, loyalties and duties that lead to a lot of cliches and a country club mentality. All to often the lost and needy never see 'The Light' as they lay buried under massive volumes of don'ts and won'ts.

I would love to say what I described above is the exception, I'd love to...but I can't.

I am reminded of a question posed by Ravi Zacharias a couple of years ago: Has Christianity ( the Church) failed you? Ultimately the answer was...perhaps so - "when Christianity becomes part of the judgement that divides us rather than the Grace that unites us".

Then and now I can't help but believe there are loads of prodigals who allow the dysfunction within the church to keep them from fully engaging with what God would have them do for the Kingdom...right now. We easily get caught up in pointing fingers and criticizing each other all the while the world goes to hell. Instead of just 'do'ing as Christ instructed us to do.

Where's the Grace?

This is a large part of what I enjoyed most about 'Mandy's DO Something'. I found myself challenged, pushed and prodded as I looked at parts of this Body of Christ that are Doing things in ways and places that made me gasp in awe of how God is getting the work done.

What an inspiration!

So here is where I jumped in with both stinky feet and sent a resounding shout out for a large part of the body that is actually doing a lot and coincidentally happens to be an actual 'Church' in a building, with members and such.

You see I'm am blessed to be a part of a this Church. Mega church actually or so they tell me. Truthfully it doesn't feel 'Mega', it just feels like home.

This large fellowship I belong to well, we're 'do'ing the most upside down outta the box kind of things imaginable in our little corner of the world.

This October we, our church will spend 3 days showering the needy and impoverished of Cherokee County Georgia with all manner of lovin straight from the Word of God.
The name of the program is
Love Loud

Some examples of what we'll be 'do'in includes, painting, cleaning, building, flooring, roofing, giving free dental and medical care, repairing and refinishing cars.

We've adopted various mobile home parks, retirement communities, special need facilities, providing free hair cuts, and child care and serving elegant dinners out for the needy and impoverished... the list is extensive and ever changing so feel free to have a look at some of the projects here.

That's not all. Our church body has been working for several weeks now to certified all that are willing and qualified to be Foster parents. There are some 325 children in our county alone with only 70 homes currently available to take them in, our hope and prayer is to create enough new homes as well as support for the existing parents to fill these needs for our county. In depth details of what we are 'do'ing with Foster Care can be found here.

Everyone in our congregation is relentlessly challenged to be more, 'do' more, get out there and live what we believe. We are regularly reminded our mission fields include the world at large as well as each of our neighborhoods. We have a Pastor who leads by example thereby making him very easy to follow.

Like anything, it's so much easier to see what is wrong than standing up and trying to 'do' the good thing, the right thing...the thing Jesus would have us do.

Am I saying that everyone is our gigantic congregation is 'do'ing something...of course perfection on this side of heaven, but walk into that it large?


but our God He's larger and well...He's just everywhere - fillin that place!


mandy said...

I really really was thankful for your comment over there.

I was getting a little sad as well, with all the comments. I think I started it. Which makes me sad. I told myself when I started blogging that I didn't wanna spark or host critical discussion of the Church. Unfortunately, my wording in making the point that the American Church/Culture could be a little more "others" focused, had the exact effect I've been trying to avoid.

I'm sorry that this happened... Sorry that you noticed. But SO incredibly appreciative of how you turned the discussion with your comment - I'm thankful for that!!! Thank you for your continued encouragement...

Melinda said... AWEsome! I think I'm going to pass this along to the "powers" that be in my own church building. We need to get our "do" on.


Profbaugh said...

Wow!! I cannot begin to tell you how powerful your post is today. All I can say is thanks for encouraging me, for reminding me just how stinkin' good the Body of Christ can be!! I was beginning to think my church was the exception.

You see, I don't belong to a Mega Church. In fact, we're probably just the opposite of that--a small town, new-start church. Even though we're small, our "doing" passion for Christ and His people is mighty. And frankly, I just love that. I love that my church lives, really lives its theology. You want to know the cool thing? The name of the church is "Real Life." Don't you just love it?

Anyway, I want to thank you again for a very thought provoking post. You never cease to challenge my heart with your writing.

Much love,