Monday, November 30, 2009

Loser's Mentality

Two people left during the service yesterday. It may have had something to do with their pastor calling the church losers. That, of course, is not exactly what was stated; words stated and words heard are often different animals.

A more precise rendering of the quote was: "Our church [like many small churches] has a loser's mentality." The assessment has weighed on me for over a year. So we built a new entryway. We erected a new welcome center. We installed new carpet. We upgraded our sound system. Because of these things we will not grow.

Our church is located on the outskirts of a miniature town known for grain elevators and fresh cut meats. Had the apostle Paul been part of the planting team, they likewise would've located elsewhere: at a port or railroad crossing; off the highway or in the city. We are between a silo, gravel pit, and softball field. Traffic is infrequent.

The location of Leesburg Grace Brethren Church is oppositional to growth...

...that is if you define growth in its most patriotic sense: strip malls, franchised restaurants, housing additions, and capital campaigns. Biblical growth, however, measures maturity not material costs.

The author of Hebrews chides his readers for their failure to grow. Their life reflects apostasy more than diligence (5:11-6:12). So the writer exhorts them with hard words (13:22). He calls out their loser's mentality and corrects it with a vision. And the vision begins with Jesus. Everything begins with Jesus. He mediates. He forgives. He speaks and listens. He gives rest and defines success.

The Christ is supreme. Fixing our eyes on Him is the first step to envisioning a victorious church.


danny2 said...

great post!

Timothy said...

The santa photo needs to be kept for posterity - your children's children and their children's children too.
Also, do you have a facebook? If so, I don't think we're friends. Also, wanted to let you know that the apartment we got here in Phnom Penh has a guest room ready for guests.
Hope you'all are doing well.
-Tim Robertson

Nabas said...

I also think you should buy some uggs. They go with everything!

Sprained Ankle said...

Apparently an autobot (or Decepticon) infiltrated my posting site, asking all who read comments to buy ugly dolls. I'm in the process of erasing the shameless advertising (I never asked to monetize my blog!), but I must admit I like ugly dolls. As far as Christmas presents, though, I would rather have my two front teeth.