Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Can't Stand "Church People"
(After the Message)

I have been known, on occasion, to rant.  I could blame it on my vocation, or I could blame it on my estrogen, but the bottom line is, I rant.  I'm a ranter.  Set me off on the right topic and I'll tell you everything I've ever thought about it before pausing to take a breath.

It's not one of my most admirable traits, but now I've confessed and you've been duly warned.  And so, here goes my rant...

I can't stand "church people."  Who are these loathsome types?  Glad you asked.  I've devised a simple test to determine if you are a church person.

1. Are you more interested in bricks or people?
2. Are you more interested in your time with Jesus or making time for someone else to spend with Jesus?
3. Are you determined to sing the songs you like or are you willing to sing songs that capture the minds and hearts of people who don't know Jesus yet?
4. Do you think you deserve priority and preferential treatment as a church member, or do you think your primary purpose is to serve those who are not?

If you answered "a" to any, most or all of the above, you might be a "church person."  (for the record, I'm all about the Church and the people who make up the Church; hence the quotation marks denoting a specific breed)  Now, I don't claim to be holy, righteous or even all that great.  I'm a sinner saved by grace and in need of all the grace I can get each day.  However, I think I'm on pretty solid ground with this particular view.  You see, Jesus wasn't very fond of "church people" either.

In Mark 1013-16, we're told people were bringing their kids to Jesus so He could touch them.  This didn't go over well with the disciples who thought that their time with Jesus was being invaded.  After all, Jesus picked them, chose them, invited them to follow.  And, they did, at no small cost.  They gave up their livelihoods and their worldly security to follow someone they had never met.  It was their time to be with Jesus, and those rascally, unwashed kids were getting in the way.  So, they rebuked them.  They told the kids and their parents to take a hike.

"Jesus was indignant," (v. 14)

The disciples had decided it was all about them and forgotten that Jesus was pouring into them specifically so they would be able to go and reach others.

So, you know what Jesus told them to do: Move.  

Church people are the ones who forget over time that it isn't about them.  They're the ones who start to think Christianity is an exclusive club designed to meet their needs.  And Jesus wants none of that near Him.

Every one of us has a church person lurking somewhere inside.  It's the voice that says, "I want what I want.  I want to be noticed.  I want to be important.  Pick me."  

Here's the deal: Jesus did pick you.  He died for you.  And He would have done it for only you.

That's amazing.  That's incredible.

Now, don't be a "church person."  Instead, go let someone else know Jesus has picked them too.


Anonymous said...

Powerful message. Interesting litmus test. How many pastors do you think would qualify as "Church People" when they seek to dictate the direction and opinions of their flock? It takes real faith to lead a church determined not to let "Church People" take the lead. It requires vigilant pursuit of the practice not just a message on the principle.

blue67ccm said...

Tremendous post. Just shared w/my Facebook friends. :)