Segoe UI – We had a baptism service yesterday. At least a dozen at most near two dozen came forth, it was quite an experience. I couldn’t help but wonder how many Christians God added to our numbers yesterday all over the world. I don’t even know how many He will add to our numbers all over the world this very day.
That is to say, no matter what our numbers are, we have a responsibility to each other. In this life, we are brothers and sisters and we haven’t been doing the best job showing it. C.S. Lewis described it as Church-and-water. The water is the sort of watering-down we do by adding in our programs and diluting the Bible’s teachings. Too often many churches will make a spectacle of themselves on the days that people don’t usually come to church. Some churches have really busy programs going on inside, but aren’t up to much outside.
There is this model, a chart that another pastor once used to explain how churches today operate. In one window it showed how everything was dependant on the pastor, all ministries, all people, and most general responsibilities fell upon him. That sort of church tended to keep who was there but couldn’t quite get enough people to come through its doors or get visitors to come back. If the congregation grew, it was gradual. Any success that church might have could be acreddited to the pastor. Any failure would be his as well. The other window showed how churches, all churches, should be. The pastor is supposed to equip the congregation and they are to go out and do the ministries that God gave them. They are responsible for themselves, each other, and most everything else that needed done. The results could only be attributed to God’s blessings and be used to glorify Him. Growth, success, and a changed community both inside and out of the church would result.
Our churches must be careful not to build on the same corner where two other churches are. What good would result from that? Our churches must remain available, both the building and the people, to God’s dirrection. Perhaps, in time, we will get it right and then great and wonderful things will be done and our cities, counties, states, and countries will be forever changed for the better. If we don’t, than this inward church-and-water will be doing a whole lot of people very little good.