Thursday, January 26, 2017
NOT Preaching for Massive Changes
I was consulting with a large church one time when the staff had a deep conversationg about challenging their members to have a daily quiet time. One of the Preachers insisted that anyone that failed to spend an hour each day in prayer and Bible reading was a failure in the game of impressing Jesus.
Another thought 30 minutes long enougn and an older, wiser man suggested 10 minutes. That set the young idealists hair on fire because only "Tiny Quiet Times" developed "Tiny Christians".
I wondered what these folks thought members were doing all day? Sitting in a spa?
As I scan articles by famous and would be famous preachers and writers I am often struck by the grand schemes they have for the lives of their members. One frequent blogger, Tweeter, Talker, and Preacher loves to chastise Christians for our failure to be like Jusus by not wanting a million or so refugees moving in the neighborhood.
The problem with this kind of hyperbole and vision casting is its total ineffectiveness in facilitating anything but false guilt. Preachers are paid to pray and study. I was paid to run a university and I prayed and studied whenever I could squeeze it in instead of caring foe my kids, attending T-Ball and cutting the lawn.
When the works bar is set so high it is easy to ignore the call to serve Christ. I can't invite a refugee to live with my brood and me and so I do nothing. I cannot possibly do an hour of prayer and study so I do nothing.
These messages are clearly not meant to be serious attempts to care for refugees or pray so I learn to ignore many or most calls to serve people.
Set a bar that is attainable for most and offer grace to every other person. Help us succeed and stop helping us fail.
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