#267 church needs

I do hear this during worship service: we need leaders or volunteers for such-and-such. Why are the clergymen crying out? Why are slips of paper given out to members to fill out areas they can serve?

 When the members filled that out, are they approached? Or, has the church minister become mini-god to decide who can serve?

 If this was the case, why the hypocrisy of handing out slips of paper for members to fill out areas they can serve?

 It appears church ministers recycle members who they had appointed as leaders. They seem not to know new ones to fill that need!???!

 Mind you, there are many groups in the church for the clergyman to tap on — men’s or women’s groups, retirees, adults, youth, bible study or small groups and many others…

 Accordingly, the church minister is called to serve and shepherd the flock of his congregation. If there were dire need among the members, is this not a reflection on his ministry — that he has failed to shepherd his believers to maturity!

 Has the church become an enterprise or corporation that she has to continually hire staff-workers for certain tasks in order that the church can run smoothly? With the economic downturn, will the church have the funds to hire?

 In the past, the church minister has to shoulder lots of task himself with help of his members by delegation. At the time, the church minister was given a stipend. Today, church ministers are well-paid. In fact many are paid at market-rate according to academic qualifications!

 From time-to-time I hear preacher chiding (to him, exhortation) from the pulpit – those attending worship Sunday after Sunday and not participating in church activities are considered pew-warmers.

 Remember, the preacher (and church staff) are called and hired to mature believers. Has he not insulted himself by making such remark? Has he failed in his ministry to inspire members to serve?

 Or, is the spiritual life of the minister and his team still on the milk-level even when they were trained in bible or theological schools!

 My question: has the church minister approached a member for the task he requires? Does he know his members by name? Or, as the excuse goes: “Oh there are too many for one of him to get to know the members?” If that was so, has he the right to scold from the pulpit?

 Often there was allegation or reminder that on judgment day, God will separate the goats from the sheep – hoping this guilt will stir members to involvement.

 Inevitably the preacher puts himself above the congregation that he belongs to the sheep category – that God will pat him on his back and say, “well done my boy, you were called to serve” – is this how that will pan out on that day? I shudder at the thought!

 Glad the God of the Bible is the God of love where He demonstrated His love while we were yet sinners Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected – God experienced that death to save us!

 Is the church minister able to preach, teach and inspire members to capture the magnitude of that love and power of God in Jesus and, in gratitude to return that to God?

#266 “seduced into idolatry”

I lift this portion quoting from blog, Without Wax by Pete — http://withoutwax.tv/2010/02/16/seduced-into-idolatry/:

John Ortberg recently wrote a fantastic article for Christianity Today where he ended with the following questions.  He labeled the series of questions the “Idol Quotient Test.” While this is geared toward people in ministry I think you can easily adapt each question to your current situation.

—Where does my sense of security come from—from God or from how my church is doing?

—After a worship service, do I find myself grateful that God is God and feeling joyful that I get to live in his care?   Or, if I’m honest, are my emotions dictated more by how many bodies were in the room?

—Do I spend more time thinking about God, or thinking about how to make my church/ministry do better?

—How do I feel when the prospect for more prizes in the church tournament—recognition, praise, reputation, applause—get taken away from me?

—Does my sense of identity flow more out of my relationship with God or out of my performance at church?

—How much do I sacrifice to know God better versus how much do I sacrifice for my church to work better?

What a good check and reminder on WHO the clergy and leaders of the church or Christians profess to believe!

#265 rebuilding haiti

For one living the other side of the globe, I glean understanding from the actual footage of catastrophe or apocalypse through the media — read, hear and see from videos and pictures.

In the US, since 911, the rebuilding on the former World Trade Center site is yet complete. I wonder about this situation in Haiti.

To rebuild Haiti from scratch is a monumental task. Who will take the initiative? Who can come up with a masterplan to help in the rebuilding? Which comes first? The infrastructures or housing? Or both these got to be built at the same time?

Accordingly, funds are available to help those survivors. How are these funds managed?

BBC’s journalist, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes gave a candid and factual record of the situation today on — Haiti’s ‘ghost’ tent villages:

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8488728.stm.

One thought struck me: Since tents are not available for all the survivors, why not supply the basic building material for the Haitians who live in the outskirts of the city to rebuild their own homes?

Offer alternatives…not just suggest building temporary tents to tie Haitians over the forthcoming monsoon period!

Ask the Haitians how they can help themselves?

Surely the Haitians want to help themselves. They know how to build for their own survival. Many had survived before the quake, surely given whatever raw material to help these folk to help themselves through — which might cost just as much as for those NGOs to building interim tents. Or, am I a little naive?

Let’s help the Haitians to help themselves to their feet. I’m sure many are still in state of shock but when there is something to fix their minds and hearts upon — when they are able to build their own temporary quarters, miracles might happen — there will be greater self-respect and hope.