Hail or Hell damage?

I don’t know if you have had to deal with hail damage from the storm, but I feel like I have had my fair share! Now I have had a new roof put on my house because of the hail storm. New skylights (4) that now after 3 attempts at repairing them finally do NOT leak – Praise the Lord. But unfortunately, I also get to deal with the church’s roof which needs a new roof even though it was just replaced in 2011! Of course we have taken bids but we haven’t had a chance as a board to get together yet to make a decision. But that doesn’t stop the phone calls!!! In fact, as I was preparing for this article I received such a call by a company that has given us a bid already! We have had several roofers stop in to ask (some more forcefully than others) to do our roof inspection, give an estimate and then do the job! These companies don’t realize that in the church the decision is not just one guys voice. But as I was thinking about this something began to bother me. What bothers me about all of this is not being interrupted, and it is not talking to people I don’t know or even who are pushy. It is much deeper than that! A couple of things bother me:

First,these roofing companies believe more in their company and in what they are “selling” than it appears Christians believe in our God and his “company” (the Church). I am not a salesman, but I am trying to convince others to take my “product” (JESUS) over the world’s “product” (godlessness.)
Secondly, preachers are disrespected just as much as salesman are. In fact, I notice when others see me coming and avoid me at all cost! It is just a fact of life. But I also have noticed that there are some others, who are very excited and convinced about the truth of Jesus, but they come across just like I do – another pushy salesman! But really what we are “selling” is so much more important than hail damage or insurance claims. It just seems that too many Church people would rather have insurance for the hail storms and avoid being a salesman even though it is a calling and command for us ALL to obey!
To top it all off, one particular roofing company wanted me to call other churches who had this company reroof their buildings. So I obliged. I couldn’t help but think about the great lengths this company was going to in order to get the church’s business. Then I compared that to our lax approach to sharing our “business” with other people. (Often we do it without excitement for our Jesus and with a constant worry that we are coming across like a pushy salesman. That same “business” that Jesus was all about even at a young age (see Luke 2:49) So I guess in all of this I have a question…a big question…an important question. A question that really is answered by your life, not your mouth. Do you believe that our company (the body of Jesus, The Church) has the best to offer the world? Too many people agree with their mouths, but as God says, their hearts are far from HIM! So how do you answer that question. Here are a few sub-questions to help find the true answer of your heart: How many people have you had a genuine talk with about Jesus? How many people do you regularly invite to church? Are you afraid of looking like a salesman for Jesus?

Grace abounds all the more…

In the book of Romans, Paul tells us that “where sin increases, grace increases all the more.” (Romans 5:20b) It seems to me that the church is the place where “grace” should be given to one another in greater doses more so than any place else in the world! After all, we should know better than anyone what grace looks like and what grace does for us. Then we should joyfully pass that grace on to others. But I am concerned. I wonder if we are doing more damage than healing. Hear me out on this. It seems as if we are more focused on coming to church to “do bible study” than we are focused on “going out” and sharing the Good news of Jesus. In fact, I wonder if we really believe that the Good news is really that good. If we did believe that it was good news for everyone, wouldn’t we be intentionally set on making more and more disciples as a body rather than relying on the church “leaders” and “employees” to do this. Isn’t this everyone’s job? In fact, we have busied ourselves with every thing but making disciples and converts so that now our excuse is excusable in our own minds – but that WON’T FLY WHEN WE ARE FACE TO FACE WITH OUR CREATOR! We labor in vain. All of this seems to make us more judgmental on other “sinners” deeming ourselves to be more righteous because we find ourselves in the four walls of places with the name “such and such church”. So we give less money. We have less patience for those who need the church to surround them. And to top it all off, we find ourselves wishing other-outside people “get what they deserve” for their disobedience to God’s way. How blind, arrogant and foolish we are becoming! When John the Baptist preceded Jesus the Messiah’s first coming his message was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2). How appropriate if the church would grab this message for us rather than for “them.” And do a lot of repenting of our own self-righteousness. Preparing our hearts for the second coming of Jesus and help pointing others towards HIS love by extending grace more and more to all as we recognize the grace poured out on ourselves. Church, think about this…Why do you think repentance has decreased in today’s churches? Could it be that we see ourselves as perfectly whole without a need of a Savior anymore? Forgive me, Lord Jesus for I have sinned, I want to turn back to your ways. I repent. Who else needs to join me and repent with me?