Monday, May 19, 2014

Basic Milestones

Posted by Lisa Laree at Beer Lahai Roi

This weekend was the 15th anniversary of our church.  It's an amazing thing...that in 15 years a living room meeting of a little over a dozen people has grown into a ministry that has literally touched the world...from Iceland to Ireland to Moldova to Zimbabwe to India to Sri Lanka to Guatemala...and we had a celebration of sorts.  Some looking back, some humorous looking at where we are now, and some news about where we are going in the future.

There were party hats and balloons and cotton candy.  A celebration.

But you know, that was not a typical worship service.  Not at all.  And at least one person, who was semi-vocal about it, was not happy.

She left a comment card w/only her first name and her home city, as she was a visitor to our area.  "I came hungry and I left hungry," she said, "I saw no sign of the Bible that you talk about but apparently don't read."

I guess she didn't eat the cotton candy. ;-)

If she had left any form of contact info, we could've followed up and explained ( was mentioned several times throughout the morning) that this was a rare event; we were celebrating what God had done.  She could easily visit the website and see the sermon archive to know that this is not usual for us.

Instead, she has seemingly decided that we do not preach/teach from the Bible.  Because we had a celebration service for one Sunday.

Oh, there were other folks who left very nice comments; this was the odd one, for sure.

But one thing about it stood out to me.

I came hungry and I left hungry

This is not a unique expectation...that one should come to church hungry and leave sated, as if the house of God were Britling's Buffet.  I have spoken to many folks over the years who have bounced around from church to church, looking for the place where they were 'fed'.

And I would offer one thought on that.

What are the biggest milestones of the first 18 months of a child's life?

Stitting alone...crawling...walking...talking...feeding him/herself.

One of the FIRST things a child learns to do is feed him/herself.  Before potty training, before jumping a rope or throwing a baseball, before riding a bicycle or learning to read. A child who can't feed himself after about 18 months is considered to have developmental issues.  Oh, they can't take a steak knife to a rib eye and make a meal of it yet, but they're on their way with cheerios and yogurt and  broken up grilled cheese sandwiches and sippy cups.

But we have folks who have been followers of Christ for years and years and still they go to church 'to be fed'.

Now, I'm not saying that the church should not exhort and equip.  But basic feeding...dear ones, we have to learn to feed ourselves.  Get into the Word and let Him reveal Himself, personally.  If the only 'food' we are receiving is that which is filtered through another's spirit, how will we find the delicacies that He has chosen for each of us alone?  And if the church is continually and exclusively feeding infants, where will those who are called to equip warriors find their place?  How will those warriors stand in battle if they do not know how to keep themselves nourished?  Where is the opportunity for celebration, for fellowship, for laying the stone of remembrance to declare to the future generations what happened on this place?

We have much more to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.  You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  -- Heb 5:11 - 14, NIV 84

It's time we learned to boil our own eggs, chop up our own veggies, butter our own bread and get past being fed and start taking some responsibility to get up from the table and do what we are each called to do.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled  - Matt 5:6, NIV 84

Then Jesus declared, 'I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.' - John 6:35, NIV 84

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