Child, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend

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I love the Lord as much as a broken person can; love and loved by my husband; blessed by 5 amazing little people who have helped me to learn much about me; grateful to serve even more as God gives them to me; blessed every day to be a home school teacher; college student; I hope to change the world by loving as many people as possible, because there is nothing greater than loving another.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Recently, I participated in a thread on my favorite home school message board. I wanted to post this, so people would get to know me on my blog a bit.

Quote: So is it wrong to expect that the adults who show up to church and do absolutely nothing but listen to the service should help the church in some way? I know they can't be made to, but is it wrong to step up the request for more help?

I've heard before that someone said they hadn't felt lead to do something, but I don't think God necessarily yells in our ear to do something...when instead he might be sitting back wondering why more people aren't doing the right thing.

I truly want to understand this....we have an awesome preacher and service, but volunteering seems to be stinky...and I'm not saying it all has to be for the kids...I'm saying those that come in repeatedly and do nothing to help the church.

So am I wrong for this to aggravate me, is there a different way I should be looking at things?

My response: The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. So, Yes, I believe a person should be led by God and will have it placed upon his/her heart to volunteer. God gives us the desires of our hearts -- I know some people think this means, I want a new car, so God will give it to me. I think that's a Gross misinterpretation. I think the things we love, deep down, are there b/c God puts those loves on our hearts.

IMHO (which is probably unpopular) I think churches very easily fall into the "ministry" trap. Since in Western churches the custom is to have senior ministries, young adults, couples, newly married, children's church, worship teams, ladies bible studies, mens bible studies, teens, middle schools, nursery the list goes on and on and on.....I'm not convinced those are always God's ministries, but what "Man" thinks will provide a nice Church Community for its members. More like a country club with scheduled activities than a place for all to come and worship in one spirit, in truth ---- there for God, not themselves.

I do believe the body should be ministering to each other, so I ask you to consider this. How does the Lord minister to you? My answer to that question is: on a personal level. One on one, providing my needs individually. To me, a non-system where a woman in church comes to me and says, "Please let me enjoy your little one during service today." is much more of God's ministry than dropping off my baby to a teenager, paid employee, or volunteer whose there b/c of the weekly guilt announcement. Or my son noticing that our neighbor is elderly and needs her grass cut. He doesn't need to start a lawn mowing ministry, he just needs to move on those ordered steps.

You never know if those who just come on Sunday aren't offering themselves as living sacrifices to many within the body the rest of the week. God's ministry is not limited to activity between walls on Sunday/Wed service.

I mostly volunteered b/c I felt led to do so. Sometimes I did it out of guilt. When it was guilt -- it never lasted and I found myself judging others who weren't "doing their part." As if I know what their part is? Like I'm God who can decide who will be suited for what j.o.b. in the church.

To summarize, I guess I have a fundamental disagreement with the System that is Modern American Christian Organized Religion. God is surely a God of order, but I think men like little systems we can understand and facilitate. I don't see God as being facilitated. I see Him as a moving spirit, going to each of us individually fulfilling our needs.

If the people won't staff the ministry, then the ministry shouldn't exist.

Just my honest opinion. I mean it to be encouraging.


opalina124 said...

Tina, excellent post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. As I was reading I was wondering if the public school mentality and way of doing things has had anything to do with how a lot of American churches are structured these days. Is their method of operation being influenced by the ps method? So many people think it's not possible to learn anything or get an "education" unless the material was presented by a teacher in a classroom setting. Have we just transferred that kind of thinking to church so that we believe truly spiritually things can only happen if they are contrived by a "ministry" of some sort and that those acts done privately so the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing aren't worth as much? Just wondering.

Tricia said...

I had to leave a comment when I saw your last name. My maiden name is Gilbert and my boys have it as their middle name. No chance you are from Ohio is there? That's where my parents were born and raised.

Tricia TWTM forums

Tina said...

opalina, you bring up an interesting point. PS may be an influence. I also wonder if pride isn't an issue. Guilty person right here of marveling in my own order, structure, color coding :), only to find the little moments taught so much more than the pretty little chart I've contrived. I sometimes get so caught up in my order, my ability to work out the details, that I leave the Holy Spirit in the dust. I completely believe God is a God of order, but I wonder just how little we know of his order. We can't explain His creation well, yet we think we can set His church up in a way we can understand. Sounds contrary to me. I've heard, though never witnessed, churches in other nations are not run the same way, much more "old fashioned" one-room kinda deals. I wish churches were that simple in my neck of the woods. :) Thanks for the comment :)

Tina said...

My husbands family came directly from Boston, via French Canada and a pinch of Dutch, I believe :) We love to say GeeL Bear (our poor french accents)


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