“Therefore, let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instructions about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement. And God permitting, we will do so.” Hebrews 6:1-3
This is one of those Mondays when taking up a pen (actually sitting down at the keyboard) becomes therapeutic. It’s the thing to do when Sunday hasn’t gone that well, when things didn’t fall into place, when some frustrations simmering underneath the surface hit the boiling point, and when you begin to hear that nagging little voice in the back of your mind that tells you “you’re wasting your time, and you’re not getting paid enough for it anyway.” So I’ll sit down at the keyboard after experiencing a Sunday when the cumulative effect of a thousand petty complaints are still fresh in my mind. I’ll try to be gentle.
Trust me, I certainly know I can’t make some kind of exclusive claim on maturity. I’ve been a Christian for 30 years now, so I have been at this for a while, and all of that has been in vocational ministry of one kind or another. My prayer is that I have made some progress in the right direction, and that God’s grace will have to fill in the rest.
But, I do wonder.
I wonder if we will ever become so hungry for worship, and so thirsty for the presence of the Spirit in our worship that our music preferences, or our theatrical or artistic tastes, or our oratory criticism will be of no consequence. Even if we don’t sense the moving of the Spirit, will we be respectful enough to simply sit or stand quietly, without whispering and nodding at the people who are lifting their hands?
I wonder if we will ever get to the point where there are enough leaders in a local body of believers who will stand up and put their Spiritual gifts to use instead of waiting for others to use theirs. Will we get to the point where the majority of the church’s resources actually go into missions and ministry, and not into programs that exist solely for the purpose of entertaining the members of the congregation who are already saved?
I wonder if we will ever get to the point where asking a woman to substitute teach in an adult Sunday school class doesn’t generate half a dozen phone calls to the church office on Monday morning. Will we ever get to the point where the air temperature in the church sanctuary or classrooms, or the room decor, or the proximity of parking to the front door, or the volume of the sound system, or the scheduled times of worship and classes, or any one of a hundred petty, insignificant things are not the main topic of conversation between the members of the church and the staff on any given Sunday morning?
I wonder if we will ever see the day when a mistake made by a church staff member, or a decision made by a leader or committee doesn’t results in threats of members to leave and find another church that will do things the way they want them done.
Can you tell what the past eight or ten days have been like in my church?
It’s enough to make you get down on your knees and pray…