http://traffic.libsyn.com/sabbathpulpit/eMastered_sabbathmorefullypod.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadWhat does it mean to preach the Sabbath more fully? How can we do this? is this important? Brother Sherman Cox discusses this question in this episode.
Yeah, I grew up in Adventism so I have heard all of the argumentation on various issues. Issues like Jewelry and makeup…Issues like going to the movies. What is interesting is that folks still like to argue over issues like that movies when so many folks not only attend movies, but the ones who don’t simply bring it into their homes.
But that isn’t my point. My point is that whenever these issues come up, we end up with an argument between two sides that I have heard before. No I have heard it many times. I know what the conservative is gonna say. He been saying the same thing since rap sessions when we were in high school. And I know what the so called liberal is gonna say. Ditto.
The Entertained Spectators – They want to get something out of church. They often show up and leave right after church. They don’t generally attend prayer meeting or any other part of the church. They are the ones that go from church to church looking for the best music where they can be “fed.”
Many of our attempts to reach the “unchurched” only end up attracting the “spectators.” They don’t want to invest their time into the church. They don’t generally cause problems in the church because they are not there.
They simply sit,listen, and leave.
The Clock-Punchers – These show up to church to “do their duty.” Many will pay their tithe either because of fear of social estrangement or fear of retribution. They dn’t want to go to hell so they show up.
Just like the worker who punches the clock to get paid, they punch the clock to get to heaven. like the entertained, they aren’t in the church really, but they do have one request, A Short Service. They have to get back to their daily lives.
The clock Punchers and the Entertained can have battles over worship at times, but in reality neither are a part of the community.
The “Working Saved” – These are the people who are always at church. The church is “theirs.” Their mother paid for the land that the church sits on. They are fifth generation members of the church and are sick of the landslide down that the church is taking. They stand in the way of all kinds of innovations. New is wrong! There aren’t many of them, but they pay most of the tithe and hold most of the offices.
The Youngsters – They are battling the working saved as they attmempt to move the church in a new “hip” way. Often “hip” is simply moving the church forward. They grab ahold of all the lateest innovations. They read all the books by the church growth crowd. They attempt to move the church forward. They attempt to silence the working saved and
The Disciples are about ministry. They don’t care who gets to sit up front or who gets the accolades. They are growing in their relationship to God. They see the battle between the youngsters and the working saved as irrelevant to the real work of being Christ in the world. They question the whole idea of church being entertainment. In fact they wonder when christian growth will matter as much as attendance in the church records.
In a little while, God will have a remnant of disciples that will take the church from being simply a place to entertain spectators or inform the working saved, but to be a place of healing and growth so that the word will be true and a witness will come forth. In a little while…
I had an interesting conversation with a member of one of our churches the other day. The member was dismayed at what he perceived as a small minority of the church though powerful, but stagnant lay leadership standing in the way of the progress of the church. These people should simply step asided and let the church progress.
I think this is an interesting question that comes up often. A few thoughts immediately came to mind. First, all leadership is considered backward and not effective by someone. I know I have been considered that by some. Perhaps I was. At any rate, when you are voted to leadership of the church, you are expected to act in ways that you think are in the best interests of the church. If you vote someone as an Elder, don’t get mad if they run the church in a way that you don’t think is best. Simply vote them out when the time comes.
Here the member seemed to be upset with the church elected officials doing what they think is right. Yet, it seems that the church wants to keep them in becuase they keep electing them. If these people are truly in the minority, then why doesn’t the majority just vote them out?
Well, perhaps it is becuase the majority does not wish to speak. Maybe they just want to enjoy the benefits of a Sabbath morning entertainment session rather than taking ownership in the church they attend. Whatever the case, most of our churches are run by a vocal 10% of the church simply becuase they are the only ones that show up at the business meetings.
That elder who we assume is backward is doing what he thinks is right. Don’t get mad at him, he is working and buidling up the church to the best of his ability. He or she is not getting paid for that effort that is invested in the church. And as one who has been a local elder, he or she is not getting the respect that you think he or she is. At any rate, don’t get mad at the elder, get mad at the 90% of the church who think that church is something that you just show up for. Get mad at the 90% who do nothing and don’t want to do anything. Get mad at the 90% who think it is too much to show up for a once a month business meeting.
In short, vote the elder out and put in effective leadership. But the elder is only a symptom of the larger problem. When you build a church based on those who only wish to consume religious entertainment, then you will be disapointed trying to turn those “consumers” into “producers” of anything. In many cases, they will simply move on to the next “young powerful preacher” who has a better “show” on Sabbath morning.