Being/Doing Better

I am taking this from a comment I posted at Wade Tannehill’s blog. If you have not been there, it is definately worth a look. A link can be found in my sidebar. His post was on A Church Without Walls. Let me know what you think and what we can do to make this better:

We have replaced “sharing our lives” with “doing church.” We have replaced the heart of the gospel with checkboxes. We have been so eager to get it right and follow it to the very letter that we left behind the heart and soul of what it is all about. The Bible says sing, so we sing. It says baptize so we baptize. It says they took the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week and we do that. We have become reductionists. We have reduced our 100% consistent practices to only those things that can be accomplished in a once a week action that requires little or no investment or change in our lives. Generally speaking if it doesn’t fit on the Order of Worship, we don’t do it!

What have we missed? What about the “one another” passages? What about getting beyond the surface level in our relationships? What about transformation? What about loving our neighbor and loving our God? What about practicing hospitality? What about being the people He calls us to be? What good is coming into a room of strangers (who God happens to see as our family) for an hour a week and getting a whole bunch of actions right and then leaving, never to see those people again until next week? When we move to a checkbox mentality, we move away from God. When we take our faith outside the walls of the church and into each other’s lives, we move closer to God’s intention and his heart. We need to be so in love with other Christians that we can’t wait to see them again. In fact the longing to be with them may actually motivate us to call them during the week or see them when they are sick or have them over for dinner or even share with them what we are struggling with!

I get so tired of attitudes that say: Let’s hope what God wants of us doesn’t take more than an hour to accomplish. Let’s hope nothing makes us uncomfortable or challenges the way we live.

This all reminds us that there is so much work to be done. This starts with us. It starts with us modeling a better life. How can we blame people for a lack of hospitality if we are not willing to start the ball rolling? This really challenges me to do better. Thank you Wade.

0 Responses to Being/Doing Better

  1. preacherman says:

    Matt,
    You are so right.
    Amen.
    Great post and thoughts on Wade’s blog.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Sorry I’m commenting on one of your old posts, I just had a chance to read some of your older ones & wanted to comment.

    When I start feeling proud of myself for how well I know so many of my congregation, I remind myself that there are many I don’t know, many I’ve shied away from because they’re not as involved or I don’t think we have anything in common, etc. How do we get ourselves more involved in the lives of others, as well as encouraging others from the congregation to do the same?

    What can I do to encourage more involvement from the “spectators” that come to church for one hour each week?

    No, those aren’t rhetorical questions! πŸ™‚

    By the way, thanks for being an encouragement to my dad, the “new guy” in Florida. It’s nice to know he’s in good hands there.

  3. Matt says:

    Lisa,
    Thanks for stopping by. I am glad Bob is in Florida and I have enjoyed reading his thoughts.

    I think the biggest thing we can do as Christians is to take the first step and personally get involved in getting to know others. It is not likely they will take that first step. Many of us wait for someone else to do it. Let’s step up and get to know others. Write a card, bake a cake, ask how someone is doing spiritually and be ready to listen when they answer. Have people into your home/practice hospitality and let them know while they are there the value of the practice of hospitality. Invite the elders and ministers into your home. My wife and I keep a guest book and try to fill it up!

    God bless you as you try to do what very few seem to care about – connect with others. By the way, it does seem to be contagious and others will see it and catch on!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to putting more effort into that. Thanks for the encouragement! Were we at Harding at the same time–1997-2001? If so, who were some people or clubs you were involved with that I might know? Keep on writing!

  5. Matt says:

    I wasn’t in a club at Harding. I just studied all the time πŸ™‚
    I had a lot of friends who ran on the track team (I was a walk on in the 400m and 800m) as well as lots of folks from North Alabama. You may have known a couple of my roommates – Daniel Cherry, and Tim Pell to name two. I married Missy Suggs who was in theatron and knew a bunch of other theatron folks. I had a look at your blog. Looks like you have a great family.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I DO have a great family!! πŸ™‚ It’s great to experience the pride of parenthood. I mostly knew people in ChiOs, Shantih (my roommates’ club), TNT (my husband’s club), Zeta Rho (through spring sing) & others in my math/science classes. I do remember Daniel Cherry, & the name Tim Pell sounds familiar, as does your wife’s name. I had a friend in Zeta Rho, little blond-headed girl (I think anyone who’s shorter than me is “little”), who I remember being friends with Daniel Cherry, her name was Emily. Did you know her too? I don’t remember her last name. I have friends now here in Virginia who are from Florence–Corey & Bevin Thomaston. I was curious to know if you knew either of them.

    My house smells like pumpkin bread baking now because I’m planning on taking some to a few people I’ve been meaning to make a connection with. Thanks for your encouragement!

    I’m proud of you for going into full-time ministry. God bless you!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh no, please tell me you didn’t see the post about my naked son!!

  8. Matt says:

    Emily Breegle. She is a really sweet person. As for those pictures, I just skipped right over those!

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