Ugly and Broken

Something over at the Flaming Ministers blog struck a nerve with me this morning. Pardon while I vent.

I want you to know that one of the things I like to do best in the whole world is teach Sunday School. I love to sit down with a group of people and open up the Word of God and reassure them, instruct them, help them and just generally do all the things the Bible says it does when people actually believe it is what it says it is. Is there anything sweeter in this world than the idea that God has actually spoken through his Word and written ALL of it down for us to read? Wow. The only thing I like better is preaching and that’s a whole other gear in the transmission.

But the thing that absolutely breaks me time and again is this: they just generally don’t care. I mean, they come to church fairly regularly. They even attend Sunday School fairly often. But most of them come because they are afraid of the director or they like to have some coffee and donuts unhindered by their kids before the ‘real’ service starts. Something like that, pick your paradigm and run with it.

The reason, though, that they are this way is that they have, most times, never really tasted God’s Word to see if it was good. Oh there are usually a few standouts. There’s always a guy who’s gone through some study course or who actually paid attention a few times back when he was in the children’s department. I am uniformly disappointed with the fact that they don’t have a clue what is going on in the Bible lesson most of the time. So I back and fill and back and fill and bring them up to speed so I can at least give them the three or four points I’ve pulled out of the text—mostly skipped over by the LifeWay quarterly. And then the bell rings.

And all of this is because there is not a real emphasis on the Word of God in the Church anymore. Its all about evangelism and fellowship and missions, not that those aren’t good things because they are. It’s just that they should flow out of the depth of our love and knowledge for Gods Word, not replace it. This just breaks me to the ground every time.

Now the scary thing is that this mysterious group of folks is in their mid thirties now. They’ve got kids and responsibilities and probably a mortgage and a car payment. They are supposed to be primed to be the backbone of church leadership in the future. Are they? Look around and see if they are, but gird up first. It’s an ugly picture.

That’s all I have to say for now. Give Cent’s missional series a read and think about this.

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2 responses to “Ugly and Broken

  1. Hey Josh, I followed the link in your comment at Challies’ blog…

    “And all of this is because there is not a real emphasis on the Word of God in the Church anymore.”

    When you said “the Church” here, did you mean “the congregational services” or “the believers”? Assuming it’s the latter, I agree: the folks I’ve come across who “don’t care” tend to be those who don’t regularly interact with each other in a Bible-saturated way—regardless of how Bible-saturated the preaching at their church is (or even whether or not they have “daily devotions”).

    Good venting! 🙂

  2. Thanks Travis…and I’ll tell you what, most of the folks I’m talking about struggle with things like devotions. Now this is on the level of average Christian life, OK? Most of them have a hard time finding time for the Lord. Which, if you ask me, is a whole ‘nuther problem.

    I wish I was just talking about one particular local church here but I don’t think I am. I’m a Baptist, which has its own issues, but the people I interact with won’t go out and buy MacArthur or someone like that–unless they find it at LifeWay. The problem with that is that some will use the CBD catalog in the same trusting fashion and order a box full of Osteen and TD Jakes thinking they’re really helping themselves out. *shudder

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