Speaking of Nourishment

Shaun King:

“This is going to sound terrible, but I’m surprised how little church means to me now that I’m not a church insider. When I was a church insider, I operated under the assumption that what we were offering people was going to fill some deep gap that they had and knew that they had, but now that I am a church outsider, I’m a perfectly content guy. I don’t feel like something is missing.”

http://www.shauninthecity.com/2013/03/the-outside-view-of-a-former-church-insider-10-honest-observations.html

Coaches or Professors

David Murrow:

“There are 330,000 places in America for the professorial learners to find God. We’re planting 4,000 more every year. Yet the majority of men relate better to a coaching model. Is there even one church in America that’s built around their needs? Such churches were common in the first three centuries AD – could they be resurrected today?”

http://churchformen.com/teaching-in-the-church/a-coaching-first-church-part-1/

How Do You “Get Fed”?

Jesus:

“My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.”

Our bodies are designed for nourishment by consumption. Our spirits are different. Many of us make the mistake of projecting the dynamics of physical nourishment to our spiritual lives. The result is spiritual famine.

Jesus explained to his disciples that his spiritual food consisted of listening to God and obeying his direction. If God told Jesus to encourage someone and Jesus obeyed, Jesus’s spirit was nourished. If God directed Jesus to heal someone and Jesus followed God’s lead, Jesus’s spirit was nourished. If God directed Jesus to be silent and Jesus obeyed, nourishment.

If God directs me to go to church on a Sunday morning and listen to a sermon, and I sincerely obey, my spirit will be nourished by God’s leading and my obedience. If I go to church week after week hoping that listening to sermon after sermon will perpetually nourish me, I will be disappointed and I will starve.

The Problem With “It’s Not About You”

It’s a pretty short walk to “It doesn’t really matter if you’re here or not.”

True, “it” isn’t mainly about you, but it involves you. Eventually, “it” should benefit you in some way, even if that benefit is helping you to realize that you are an irreplaceable part of the body.

Because you are. Or you should be. Your value in the Kingdom is not limited to a tally on a headcount, or the number of volunteer hours you donate to keep the machine of the church running week in, week out.

God has prepared good works out in the world that only you can complete. If you aren’t ready, or don’t have the eyes to see those good works, or don’t have the courage to complete them, then by all means, don’t waste another second. Get equipped. Because that’s where you’ll experience God, when you join him in the work he’s already doing.

Hopefully, whatever it is that you’re doing in church will prepare you to complete those good works. If church isn’t helping you, then it’s just a distraction and something needs to change.

“Find a job, do some work, do something.”

Some Christian ladies are displeased with the quantity and quality of single guys in churches.

Greg Belcher, singles pastor at Hope Community Church in Raleigh, North Carolina,  speaking of Christian guys:

“They have to see the church as an institution that doesn’t emasculate them but rather as a movement of God that emboldens them.”

Belcher’s solution: a ministry at his church targeting young single guys called “Man Up.”

Is it possible that the guys who are “doing some work” are too busy to show up to church services and events because they’re, you know, working?

Also: How do we assess the quality of single Christian women? I see a lot of “lost generation” conversations about young Christian men, but I suspect there’s a comparable character crisis among young Christian women.

http://www.worldmag.com/2013/03/the_great_man_hunt

What Fields Are You Called to Sow In?

Roger Thoman:

“Once we make that turn toward sowing the word and shining the light out into the world, we can find ourselves simply doing what we see others doing rather than letting Jesus give us clear, specific direction as to where we are to sow.”

http://www.simplechurchjournal.com/2013/02/what-fields-are-you-called-to-sow-in.html

Are You Busy Disciple-Being or Disciple-Making?

Steve Ogne points out that much of what we do in churches is designed to help us to be disciples, rather than make new disciples. I think this may have to do with our need to reassure ourselves that we really believe in Jesus.

The funny thing is, one the best ways to encounter Jesus, real-time, and be reminded of our identity in him, is to go make a disciple.

http://loganleadership.com/2013-03/disciple-being-or-disciple-making/

We Must Dream Bigger

Roger Thoman:

“We are not dreaming big enough. No, I’m not talking about how big each one of us can become, or how important each one of us can be, or how big of an organization or ministry each one of us can grow. That’s backwards. That turns God’s thing around. We always think God wants US to be BIG. He’s not into that. He’s into HIM being BIG.”

http://www.simplechurchjournal.com/2013/03/we-must-dream-bigger.html

All Boats Leak

This Seth Godin bit is applicable to churches, as well.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/03/all-boats-leak.html

“More Than 100,000 Conversions. 139 Communities. More Than 100 Pastors.”

Gripping story told by Brant Hansen about a Christian doing missions work in India, all during his vacations from his day job at Sun Microsystems.

http://www.air1.com/blog/brant/post/2013/02/25/On-the-Chair-Next-to-You.aspx