Monday, November 28, 2011

Here Is The Church?

WARNING: This message may ultimately offend you.  That is not my goal, although I recognize the possibility and think the risk is worth it.  I also know that I am being OVERLY cynical.  That is by design. I would rather make my point, even in matters that may not really be as problematic as I present them, than lose the point by under-emphasizing them.

EXPLANATION: As a dad of Kindergartner's I am seeing things through a new pair of eyes. Partly because its my job to scrutinize what they are being exposed to and hopefully its also in part due to my continued spiritual growth.  What I see on an almost daily basis is concerning in the least and at times quite horrifying.  The only saving grace with some of the worldly fallen-ness smacking them in the face is that they are naive to it in many ways. 

Not too long ago I wrote a post called GIGO, using the common computer terminology Garbage In, Garbage pose a question about how to best protect our kids from worldly programming and lies.  I can imagine responses all over the map ranging from over protective measures to "Hey Jim, chill are being ridiculous."  But my favorite response and therefore my adopted mode of operation comes from Brent McKinney.  He has been the Youth Pastor of my church for the last 15 years and knows a thing or two about what kids are exposed to.

His advice both as a Pastor and fellow dad is to let your children be in the world but not of it.  In order to accomplish this, exposure must happen.  But it is our job to come along-side and teach them discernment.  To teach them what it is about this movie, or that cartoon, or this music that is in error and a contradiction to our faith.  Even then I can easily have the tendency to OVER-DO the discernment lessons.  Rachael has already had to hold me back a few times and help me maintain a healthy balance in our home.

So here is the first of what will probably be a series of installments where I speak about these issues and inaccuracies.  I would love to say the church is immune to the scrutiny and its only TV and secular sources that have their issues.  But to prove just how pervasive the errors can be even in what seems to be an innocent childhood rhyme learned in church...I give you my quick dissection of Here's The Church.


Mike Messerli said...

Good stuff, Jim. I love it. Now, when are we going to get some coffee?

Jim said...

I have you down for tomorrow morning at 8AM. We still on?

Mr. T said...

Interesting topic... I never liked that little rhyme as a kid. All the people were bald in that 'church' - lol.

Jim said...

Very funny but TRUE observation. Thanks for the laugh!

Molly said...

I've long been frustrated with the building church that so often grieves the Spirit- which it should by definition never do. However, I've found that something the building offers that a living room gathering falls short to offer is the capacity for greater community, doctrinal accountability and scripturally-designed discipleship. The building church does, by nature of its bigness, allow for more activity that fosters spiritual growth and fellowship than a living room might. That being said, I absolutely agree and often get passionate defending what you've stated here, that true Christian community happens everywhere, and we don't have to have a fancy building for it to be worthwhile for the Kingdom mission. Church planters know this best, I bet, and urchin mega-size church congregations in the Bible belt might do well to remember it.

Jim said...

I am not one to even suggest a home church movement that leaves every mega-church pew vacated. I also see great value in large gatherings that are not possible in a living room. But I do think the focus is often too much on buildings. And these structures are NOT cheap. A mid sized church like the one I attend still costs millions to construct. I want to be a good steward with finances and make sure we are not allocating a dime more than necessary to congregate and grow together.