Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Living Church

Do we want to see a revived church? Easy.
  • Every time a church staff works with a stranger, on the phone, online or in any way represents the church they should reflect the love that God has to all people.
  • Every time a pastor decides something for a church member, she should base it on this basis: "Does this reflect Jesus?"
  • Every time a new ministry is created, instead of the decision makers deciding for the church membership, they think of what would benefit the most needy of their broader community.
  • Every time a church board or denomination makes decisions for their church, they should consider, "Does this decision reflect the generous, embracing, sacrificial nature of God?"

We should be more concerned about helping the needy than the liability of helping the needy.
We should be more concerned about loving than about a balanced budget.We should be more concerned about taking chances for caring than our fears.
Then we will see our churches opened again, not just because people want to worship our God-- although they will-- but because they will be necessary, cornerstones of our communities.
Because what our communities need more than anything is a center of compassionate, generous, all-encompassing love.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Let’s face it, drama wears us out and is generally a waste of time.  People who think something is an injustice, when really it’s not.  People who speak loudly with anger about a minor infraction.  People who complain about small, everyday events.  People who blame others for what they did themselves.   These are the ones who make us unnecessarily stressed.  They create conflict when there shouldn’t be any. 

However, there is the opposite as well.  The times that we try to quiet conflict when a loud voice is necessary.  The times when we condemn a complaint when it is justified.  When people are blamed and punished for what they didn’t do.  Sometimes stress really is necessary.  Sometimes only stress will open our eyes to reality.  Especially reality we don’t want to see.

A recent study I read found that most complaints about oppression and injustice are ignored or silenced because people don’t want more stress in their lives.  They’d never admit it, but they’d rather oppression continue than to have more drama in their lives.  They’d rather people suffer than to have another burden on their shoulders, even that of listening to a complaint.  The Emotional Cost of Humanity

We seek peace in our lives.  And the path to peace we believe, in our heart of hearts, is more quiet, less stress, less drama.  But in reality, our human nature requires challenge.  We need to learn to face conflict well, and that means we must stop avoiding conflict.  To be our best selves, we must work to make our worlds the best they can be for everyone who lives in them.  This means that we must accept a certain amount of drama.

I’ve heard a number of people say they want to get rid of all unnecessary drama and all overly dramatic people so they can have peace.  In reality, if you want peace, you need to keep some of your drama kings and queens.  You need to listen to them and help you and them evaluate their conflict fairly and rationally.  Sometimes they’ll have a point.  Sometimes they won’t.  But we’ll never know unless we listen.  Sometimes we need to place boundaries and say we can’t be involved.  And sometimes we need to stand right next to them and fight.  That’s the only way the world will improve.