Good thing you stayed home?

Posted: January 20, 2008 in Church Leadership, Theology

I am not going to say anything negative about a specific church or pastor that canceled services today. However, I must bring up a point that I haven’t heard made so far. When there isn’t really a problem, because the roads are clear, the weather is clear, and all your really need is an extra layer of clothes something more significant is happening. Here is how I look at it.

Worship can happen at your home, in your car, or even on a walk in the park. People can get saved at Starbucks, by reading your Bible, or chatting online to a friend. However, when none of that has a chance to happen where it happens a large percentage of the time, because of fear and worry, something is wrong.

Those that control the media live off of sensationalism. They need something drastic to drive their shows and the attention that they receive. If somebody isn’t getting shot, we aren’t in huge recession, or we aren’t about to get hit by a hurricane then those that control the media are going to be ignored. Normally it wouldn’t matter, but when it affects eternity they are crossing a line. In addition, when we respond without thinking for ourselves and make bad assumptions without looking for proof we will be accountable for our bad decisions.

I don’t know how many people would have been saved, whose lives would have been changed, or what person would have had an experience with God they would never forget this weekend. I do know that hundreds of church canceled their services throughout the southeast for no legitimate reason. In doing so they prevented hundreds of people from having those experiences.

In my mind it boils down to this. Satan will use any methods, tactics, and strategies to prevent the Gospel from moving forward. When Christians fail to step up and back down, and don’t do what it takes…we have failed. At no point could we ever face our Christian brothers and sisters around the globe with any real legitimacy if we stayed home because of non-existent ice or low temperatures. Many of these people walk countless miles, face persecution and death, while having little access to the resources nearly every American enjoys.

I guess I just wish that more Christians in the Southeast were sending a stronger message to those who deal with persecution and all members of Satan’s army of darkness that we were serious about Jesus.

Thanks to the 722 Oak Leaf for doing your part!

  1. regularjoe30120 says:

    You are correct. Satan will use anything. Even divisive blog posts that do nothing but anger people and cause dissension among God’s “leaders.”

    I wouldn’t expect you to publish this comment, but I think you need to reconsider your harsh stance against church leaders who canceled services because they put their attendees’ safety ahead of their own egos.

    Unchurched people are the ones you should be trying to reach. I doubt any unchurched people were motivated to brave the 8 degree windchill and possible icy conditions to get to Oak Leaf, or any other church in the area.

    Just common sense.

    Have a super day.

  2. agratto says:

    If you made it to church on Sunday or helped get people to church despite the frigid temperatures, then I applaud you. If not, you are missing the point. Nobody should have stayed home…there wasn’t any ice on the roads and most people just listened to people on TV/Radio pontificate about something they can’t control or truly predict, then got scared and stayed home.

    I am also not talking to only lost people, because some Christians missed out on what God might have done in their lives Sunday morning too. If everyone who missed church, because they lived on a mountain pass covered in ice, had a Bible reading and worship time with their family…great. If not, then I think what people did was choose to take the easy way out. Which is better to say/do? Church Leader: “We understand that the roads might be unsafe, so if you feel that is true for you stay home. As for our leadership, we are going to provide a place to worship and the means normally available to you on a Sunday morning….or Church is canceled.”

    I am not being divisive, just saying some people wimped out, others did what they thought was right and realized in the morning they were wrong, and other just plain said the alternative is too tough so we are staying home.

    Wimpy Christianity is prevalent in the USA regardless of what you think. Furthermore, I am not saying that every Pastor who canceled churches is a wimp. I am just proud of our leadership and proud or our church.

  3. regularjoe30120 says:

    You may not intend to be divisive, but you are being divisive. Sounds like your church’s motto is “no church is as great as Oak Leaf.”

    Be careful about casting stones.

    Applaud yourself. Pat yourself on the back. Be proud. But, you go beyond self-edification to put down churches and leaders who canceled church – plain and simple.

    If you want to have church in bad weather, have at it. But, don’t fault those who prayerfully chose to cancel services to protect their attenders.

    I just don’t understand why you choose to be so abrasive about it. You chose to meet. Others didn’t. Move on, and stop making such a big deal about it.

  4. agratto says:

    Once again, perception is reality. If people feel like I am attacking them and saying I am better then some other church leader then that’s what they will hear…but it’s not my point.

    I am just proud of our church, it’s staff, and am thankful for the other leaders who didn’t let a potential and perceived risk cause them to miss an opportunity.

    I imagine that there aren’t too many Pastors in staff meeting Monday morning saying, “You know we really did the right thing. Those conditions were terrible and we want people to be safe and not take risks.”

    “In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day” is a great summary of why doing what we did Sunday was a good move for our people and our community. It was a huge risk, because we could have gone through a 2.5 hour setup and had nobody show up, but instead we had two full services.

    I am not a better, more skilled, smarter leader then Andy Stanley, Shawn Lovejoy, or Brian Bloye, but maybe I am just a little more of a gambler. This time I got all Aces, next time it might not be so good.

    Thanks for the feedback.

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