Many years ago, I worked with a non-profit group who always had a tough time keeping the doors open and the lights on. You see, it had a very good volunteer base and fantastic donors but what was missing was the next level of support that would not only give the organization some wiggle room in the budget but also help it to grow and help even more in need. The economy was rather tight and the funds available were getting spread thinner and thinner and while the pool did not grow, the needs within the community had. It was, at one time, rather simple because so many were more than willing to help out those in dire straights and the recipients were so grateful for the love and support. As things tightened up, it almost felt like we were looking for ways to sell the public on the desperation of those in need. In a planning session, someone mentioned that we should crank up an event with a few well-known celebrities and make a party out of it. We, myself included, thought this was a fabulous idea and the plans were put in place. The celebs were going to cost us a bit of money and the party was also going to cut into the money available, but it was going to be a great fundraiser. Invitations were sent out, response was incredible, and the celebration was a hit, but one thing was missing, the people we were trying to help and many of the hardworking staff and volunteers.
This event came to mind as I was reading the book from Rev Bud Robinson “The Story of Lazarus”.
“To show you that church members are bound by the things of this world, I was in a nice town in the month of October 1908, and there was a nice church in the beautiful city with 588 members on the roll. One night while I was in the town the prayer meeting was held and there were eleven persons present; the next night there was a church entertainment and according to the report of the town paper, there were 1, 100 out.”
This is not just in churches but also in so many different areas of life. If you feed them, if you entertain them, if you woo them, they will come. Sound harsh? Sometimes the truth must be stated, the elephant in the room pointed out. Jesus started out with two, then four then twelve who followed Him and learned the Way. Jesus did not use expensive fog machines, have massive concerts with big name acts nor did he have image specialists to market Him. Jesus met in the streets, preached and healed people where they were and built relationships one heart at a time. Jesus fed souls and hearts. It was not a popularity tour, it was a truth tour and, after He left and the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, they fed the bread of life to those who would listen in the streets and through the power of the Spirit, thousands were saved.
So, here is a humble suggestion; when you go to church on Sunday, do not critique the music (Psalm 100 says make a joyful noise to the Lord) open your heart to the foundational message of the worship and the sermon (pastors seek the wisdom of the Lord for the Truth) and be in fellowship with those of faith so that you may celebrate together and support one another in prayer and worship. If the church leadership is more focused on entertaining rather than building relationships in Christian faith, how strong a foundation will there be for the community? Feast with the Lord, feed your soul and be fully alive in the joy of the Saviour.
This weekend, we finish the Lazarus series by celebrating the joy of relationship. We would love for you to join us either in person or online Sunday at 10:30 AM MST.
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We look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
Our Mission “To live the love of Christ”