Dear Salvation Army, Identity Crisis or just “More than a Church”?

We are an army of soldiers of Christ, organised as perfectly as we have been able to accomplish, seeking no church status, avoiding as we would the plague of every denominational rut, in order perpetually to reach more and more of those who live outside every church boundary.” (Commissioner George Scott Railton)

No church is perfect.
No Christian witness is flawless.
No song we sing can ever compare to the Holiness of God.

Dear Soldier of The Salvation Army,
prayI don’t necessarily see our mission and identity as completely “Church”.
Yes, we celebrate the resurrected Christ.
We recognize Jesus as the Son of God; the only way to eternal life and the source of salvation to the world; but this good news cannot be contained within four walls of a church building can it?  No!  We are called to go out into the world.  Our mission as The Salvation Army is about being faithful to going out into our communities.  It’s not just about feeding and clothing the poor, but this is a starting place!

We should represent the most welcoming aspect of “Church” in our communities to those who truly will “come as you are”!  Many that we have the opportunity to reach will be unchurched, uneducated in “church etiquette”, and having little to no practice in biblical understanding.  Some will know, but life has often times robbed them (whether through conscience choice or beyond their control) of their dignity, hope and joy.  Yet, because of our mission, we have the capacity to welcome them into our buildings and provide for them more than just a morsel of food, but something more substantial – living water, and living bread.

We Are Not Perfect!
Photo Jul 08, 8 07 19 AMThis organization is NOT perfect, it does have its flaws, it’s politics, its issues, as do we all as individuals.
There are numerous social issues we MUST fight for, however, that begs us to put these faults and imperfections aside and get back to work within our mission.  If we can first get past the fact that we are flawed, we are imperfect even within our uniforms, we can make a more rapid response to the plight of people all around us.

We MUST be humble! 

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Officers & Soldiers, no matter what rank you are, no matter how long you have served, no matter how “high” you go up in the structure of our Army – know this:  we do not serve as soldiers in this Army to attain rank and position.  This should never be our aim and first pursuit.  Unlike the world around us, our mission for Christ is about winning souls, serving souls, and caring for the lost, sick and afflicted.  We cannot afford to become sidetracked on fame, rank, power, position or anything that would entrap us.  The father of lies would love for us to become entangled in this game of church politics and army power wrangling…because if we do become ensnared in this, we become limited within the scope of our mission and its success.

The disciples of Jesus even argued about this very thing.
They wrangled about who would be the greatest disciple.
They tried to show off, look better, be more attentive to Jesus…it wasn’t what Jesus wanted from them.
So Jesus set them straight:
 “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-48)

Dear Soldiers, we must be completely humble.
None of us should think we are greater than our fellow soldier.
We need each other and so we too must humble ourselves.
He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)

No, we do not have an identity crisis in our Army…we simply have to recall what our identity is and should be for future generations!  The structure of this Army is to get beyond Church walls, beyond Church boundaries, politics, policy and procedures and to reach into our communities toward those who have been rejected by everyone else.  We must reach into our communities for those who are disparaged, discouraged, disillusioned, drugged out, pimped out, drunk, condemned, and without all hope.

So, what is your identity as a soldier of this army?
Are you humbly serving as a soldier of Christ?
Where is He sending you?
What is holding you back?
Who in your community is the fallen and rejected?
Can you go to them?
Will you show them love and grace and offer them hope?

Dear Salvation Army, let’s keep up this fight!
We are not finished yet!
Our calling still stands – His Holy Spirit will guide us!

Something more for our Army to ponder today!

Disclaimer: These postings and ponderings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Salvation Army.”

Dear Salvation Army, Forget About The Fanfare!

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Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ -Matthew 25:40

Dear Soldier of this army…
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It doesn’t really matter if your “15 seconds” of fame only lasts for 5 seconds.
It doesn’t really matter if your community doesn’t truly appreciate you for all the good that you do.
newsIt doesn’t really matter if none of the “important people” ever take notice.
It doesn’t really matter if your work within this mission is overshadowed by someone else’s work and they seem to get all of the glory.

So what DOES matter you ask? 

Here is what matters: 
serveDo everything without grumbling or arguing…” Philippians 2:14
Allow the bitterness and jealousy that can creep into our hears unannounced to leave the way it came in.
Tell that bitterness that it has no place in a Soldier of God!
When we work “for God” with a chip on our shoulders and we think that everyone owes us something we will eventually realize that we haven’t been working for God at all but for the glory that we think we should get.

NEWS FLASH – The work that “we” do has never been about us, it is about Christ’s redemptive love and how it can transform lives in others.  We are simply humble servants…who often forget what it means to be humble.  Sometimes power (or perceived power) can go to our heads.  Sometimes we forget who it is we serve and how we are to love even if there is no fanfare or earthly incentive.

Dear Salvation Army, 
Dear Salvation Soldier…
So what if no one sees you doing the work that you’ve been called to do.
So what if all that you do for the kingdom is unseen.
So what if no one ever truly thanks you or appreciates you.
We aren’t in the people pleasing business.
We aren’t in it for the glory of ourselves…and if we are we might wish to reconsider our motives within this mission.

Is this a common struggle amongst our ranks?
Yes…no…maybe?
Perhaps it’s never spoken but deep down we resent the lack of accolades.
Perhaps sometimes we go home after a long and weary day and feel as if no one even cares.

What matters more to us? –
People’s praises of our deeds?
God’s rewards and praises of our faithfulness?

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

Forget about the public notoriety.
Forget about fretting whether you are in someone’s “good” graces.
Forget about pleasing people while forgetting to help those in need.
Do everything that you do (even/most importantly behind the scenes) ALL for the glory of God!

Something more for our Army to ponder today!
To God be the glory!

Dear Salvation Army, Stories About Humanity And How We Make A Difference!

Today I have been challenged…and I hope this challenges you too.

We’ve been challenged to love.
love is pure.
love is true.
The greatest form of love for God comes through how we love and serve humanity.
It is a calling to participate in practical holiness…
It is this kind of love that should be a fragrant offering.
This kind of love is (not always an immediate response, mind you)a response to being unlovable, hopelessly lost in our own sins, and yet receiving this unmerited grace, this undeserved love.  We respond in the practical.  We respond to this love in how we love others.  We attempt to reciprocate this love to God, and we are consumed by this desire to serve a mighty God here where He has placed us.

God has placed a very special man in our corps building recently…
His name is Bill.
He came to us first to volunteer, and we kept him.
He has this sort of passionate fire in his heart to serve people around him.
Strangers will come to our corps for help with food and find a friend where they might least expect it.
They find Bill.
He usually wears a red Salvation Army Emergency Disaster cap on his head and with a big smile he begins to engage the down and out in our foodshelf…but this isn’t the end of the story…

foodRecently, our foodshelf coordinator Linda was contacted by a non-profit organization that helps special needs adults find places to work, contribute and volunteer.   They were looking for locations that they could send about two or three special needs young adults to work.  Linda recognized an opportunity and agreed to be a host site here at The Salvation Army’s foodshelf.  Most of these special needs adults are slightly withdrawn and they can take quite a while to warm up to new environments.   Change is extremely difficult for most of them.   One such young adult was Anthony.  Anthony is naturally shy, and because of his disability, he doesn’t welcome change easily.  He is uncomfortable with meeting new people and his anxiety sometimes is too much to bear.

food1Anthony’s first day at The Salvation Army just so happened to be Bill’s regular volunteer day in the foodshelf.  Imagine this shy, quiet adult meeting this big gregarious red capped man…you’d think Anthony would have run away…but he didn’t.   Within that first day of volunteering in our foodshelf, Anthony became Bill’s good friend.  Bill took him under his wing, showed him how to pack food boxes, how to clean the floors, how to meet and greet clients coming to us for help.  Bill became Anthony’s mentor as they worked side by side each week filling boxes with food, sharing much needed breaks, taking out the trash, laughing together in the hallways, and engaging families and individuals in need who came to the door for food.

Bill is a servant of Christ, and to see him and Anthony together meeting human need in a very practical way here in the foodshelf is heart warming!
When Anthony comes in now to volunteer, he always looks for Bill.
He wants to work right there beside Bill, to emulate him.
Anthony feels comfortable there.  He feels safe.  He feels accepted.

Perhaps we need more Bills in our corps.
People who aren’t afraid to engage. food3
People who have this passion to serve Christ in any aspect both big and small.
People who make a difference in lives without even having to preach a sermon because their lives are that sermon.

We do make a difference in people’s lives, dear Salvation Army.
I hope that we never ever forget this.
We sing these wonderful battle songs of “fill the world with glory”, and these are great, but sometimes I think we lose the tree for the forest around us.  We lose the little things that make differences in people right in front of us.  We are so busy looking “out there” when all along we can make a difference, we can make an impact right here.  It is a practical holiness that transforms lives.  It is a practical holiness that preaches sermons that touches lives without even having to stand in a pulpit.  We need more practical holiness in our corps.  We need more people willing to do both the big tasks as well as the small mundane duties…both matter!

To Anthony, Bill became the representation of Christ in his life.
Bill became the very reflection of Christ that Anthony needed.
There are many more stories just like this waiting to be told in your corps.
There are many more lives that can be impacted for the better because of what you do next.
We do make a difference…and it starts with the execution of practical holiness in our lives.

Something more for our Army world to ponder today.
To God be the glory!

Could Communion Be Overshadowing Something More Important?

Sometimes, perhaps, Christians become so focused upon one aspect of the Jesus’ teachings that it nearly overshadows another important teaching – humility and service.
What I mean is that Jesus breaking the bread and pouring the wine was not the only aspect of becoming like Christ for His disciples.  The act in and of itself was not mysterious, but it was significant.  Jesus spoke to His disciples and the crowds using Rabbinical parables to illustrate and to teach.  Is it really much of a stretch then to consider He was using the Passover bread and wine to do the same here?  Of course not!

The Path To Sacrificial Love:
In order to become like Christ in every way, Jesus does something more significant for His disciples at Passover – He washes their feet.  Towards the end of the meal, as recorded in John 13:13-15, Jesus gets up takes off his outer garments and puts a towel around His waist.  He then pours water into a basin and does the unthinkable.  He stoops down low, kneels before His students, in essence becoming a servant or slave to them and washes their feet.  Talk about significant!  Jesus illustrates for His disciples how to serve others.  Isn’t that the path to sacrificial love?  Shouldn’t this become our focal point more often in our living rather than a monthly or weekly ceremonial breaking of the bread?

But Get This…
What if one of these things lead to the other?
What I mean by that is this: What if by serving your fellow parishioners, neighbors, even enemies led to holy communion with one another?  I don’t mean simply going to the nearest church and participating in a communion service, I mean literal fellowship…holy fellowship with one another because we are willing to place each other before ourselves…what if?
What would happen then?  Do you see what I’m saying?  It is so much harder to do than a ceremony.  It is so much more strenuous to “get along” with others let alone serve one another…but isn’t that the path to sacrificial love?

The Cart Before The Horse…
Sure, it’s most likely assumed that these two elements of Christ’s teachings go together, but do they really in today’s “Christian” world?  I mean it’s simple to follow through the motions on a simple ritual week after week in church, but is it really that simple to become like Christ by becoming the servant and serving those around us?   I would contend that it is not.  It is much easier to say the words than to live out the context of those words.  Could it be that before holy fellowship (as I described it above) can be performed one must take off their outer garments, place a towel around the waist and serve?
Jesus said, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21)…what would happen if our treasure was two-fold (1) Christ and then (2) others?  Would we have to look very far to see either?  NO!

John 13:12-17 – “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Something more to ponder today.
To God be the glory!

“Perspectives” Day 5 Featuring Dennis Strissel (Colonel) “Opinion8ed”

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Opinion–8-ed

By Colonel Dennis Strissel

(A series of eight installments)

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Number one – Jesus should have served fish & chips

That thought went through my mind as I stared down at a generous portion of golden brown, breaded cod and a fist-full of french-fries. This would have tasted a whole lot better than some dried-salted fish accompanied by an equally dried hunk of bread.

Don’t get me wrong; I love fish of any sort, prepared any way but most of all… I love fish & chips. Secretly, I rate the quality of fish & chips I have eaten all over the world. I guess you could call me a fish & chip critic of sorts. I have my favorites…like landing at a pub on a cool day riding in the Yorkshire Dales in northern England. The table, along with our quartet of fish & chip eaters, was seated squarely in front of a warm hearth as they served the tasteful treats. But my best F&C experience has to be from Hout Bay near Cape Town South Africa. It was a family excursion to the beach with lunch thrown in. There was just something special about those greasy, newspaper-bound, lookin-out-on-the-Atlantic Ocean, fish & chips! Perhaps, for me, it’s more about the taste connected to the current terra firma.

Its John’s version of the story that informs us that the two fish and five loaves was really a boy’s lunch (John 6:9) contributed as a result of Jesus’ instruction to his disciples to do something about the personal need of the thousands attending his impromptu hillside meeting. Its importance is measured by its inclusion in each of the Gospel’s, (Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9 and John 6). Since this is opinion base, then let me share one…I think too many speakers spend time expounding on the peripherals, failing to get to the point of the narrative. One could argue that the peripherals actually enhance the point but why waste the precious time you have, fifteen to twenty minutes on a Sunday morning, with waffling about the wilderness and never getting to the promise land? Here are the promise land lessons for me…

 1)    This is about servanthood – Jesus’s challenge was first to his disciples;    “Jesus replied, you give them something to eat.” (Matt 14:16), and this is echoed specifically through Mark and Luke (Mk. 6:37, Lk. 9:13) and in John it is implied in Jn. 6:5-6. Those of you who are spiritual leaders…the Spirit is speaking to you right now; “you give them something to eat.”

 Jesus’ first words about the need of the people were to the heirs of the kingdom, his disciples. Here he is pointing them to the importance of spiritual responsibility, and the challenge of every heir-apparent, to discern and meet the need of the people. In this case it was for food to sustain them while they listened and learned. One of the roles of a leader is to identify the legitimate needs of the people he/she is leading and then to meet that need. Jesus tried to do this with his disciples and in the process gets the normal reaction; “let them go in the villages and fend for themselves” or “it would take eight months of wages to feed all these people.”

  In his book, Jesus on Leadership, C. Gene Wilkes gives us a clue as to what Jesus was attempting with his chosen; “You will never become a servant leader until you first become a servant to the leader.” If the excuses sound familiar to you, it just might be because you have used the same excuses to excuse yourself from personal responsibility just like the disciples did. How are you doing in the area of servanthood? Look for ways you can meet the need of your people.

 2)   This is about satisfaction – “They all ate and were satisfied” Mark 6:42, (Matt. 14:20, Lk. 9:17, Jn. 6:12). For me, this may be the most critical need of every human being…the longing to be satisfied, fulfilled, to have a purpose to live for. Oh I know the context here…it was all about food you say? Nonsense! This is far deeper than a basket of bread…this is ultimately about the bread of life – Jesus and the search of the soul to live in relationship, finding its purpose.

 Richard Parrott shares a portion of a message given by an extraordinary Methodist preacher named Albert Edward Day in his book, My Soul Purpose;

 “But God is present in reality no matter what unreality our practices and our ponderings imply. He is forever trying to establish communication; forever aware of the wrong directions we are taking and wishing to warn us; forever offering solutions for the problems that baffle us; forever standing at the door of our loneliness, eager to bring us such comradeship as the most intelligent living mortal could not supply; forever clinging to our indifference in the hope that someday our needs, or at least our tragedies, will waken us to respond to his advances. The Real Presence is just that, real and life-transforming”

That day on the hill-side as thousands filled their hungry stomachs with bread that does not sustain forever, the Gospel writer John links this experience in the same chapter with the words of Jesus as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson in the Message; “I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread — living Bread! — who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live — and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.” (John 6:47-51).  This is the bread will satisfy the longing soul for purpose and fulfillment. I hope you are sharing this bread frequently and faithfully with your people.

 

3)   This is about making something out of nothing – Jesus specialized in the impossible. How is it possible that two fish and five barely loaves could feed over five thousand people and still have more than enough left over? I wish I knew. Here’s what I do know; God can make something out of nothing! Now make it personal…that’s right…it’s for you too. He can take your humblest offering, transforming it into a gift fit for a king, making it pleasing in his sight. By the way, your humblest offering is you! That’s right…he wants you first, foremost and entirely. He wants to stretch you. Yes, it can be uncomfortable and may become difficult at times but it is also rewarding and fulfilling. Through this wonderful, life-changing relationship, he will accomplish things never thought possible. Remember, he specializes in making something out of nothing. He can make new, something that was old; clean, something that was dirty; alive, something that was dead. Nothing is impossible with him. That’s not good news…that’s great news!

 Well that’s my take on it anyhow. I am certain you can work out other lessons the Spirit reveals as important to your walk…but I still think fish & chips sound a whole lot better than fish & bread. And well….at least that’s my opinion!

 

Dennis L.R. Strissel

 

 

Reference

 Parrott, R.L. (2009). My soul purpose. Nashville, TN: The Woodland Press.

 Wilkes, C.G. (1998). Jesus on leadership. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers Inc.

 

 

“Doing the will of God”

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Jesus got up from the table.  Isn’t that unusual for Master of ceremonies to do?  He got up.  He had been reclined, as they did in those days.  There wasn’t a wooden table and chairs as we’re so traditionally used to.  He had been enjoying a meal with His disciples.  There had been some banter back and forth, some laughter over a good cooked meal.  Isn’t that how bonds, throughout time, have been further deepened?  Over a meal, together, they bonded, they shared, they loved.  Then Jesus got up.  What was He about to do?  The room was slightly stuffy, and getting warmer.  There was a humidity in the air which matched the body heat of those gathered there.  As each disciple had eaten their share of the food and had drunken a share of the wine, Jesus did not rest.  He didn’t find the nearest lazy boy chair to recline in.  He didn’t make his disciples go and do the dishes.  He didn’t rest.  Instead, He got up and after wrapping a towel around His waist, He filled a basin full of water.  The disciples were caught off guard.  Some were still chewing the last bits of food and draining their cups of the last drops of wine.  Glances were exchanged, expressions of bewilderment and surprise replaced the revelry of celebration.   

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Having wrapped the towel around His waist and poured the water into the basin, Jesus begins to display for His disciples what a true discipleship looks like: a servant of all.  Kneeling down before them, Jesus places himself beneath their dirty, filthy, smelly feet and washes them.  He becomes a servant before them.  He takes on the very job of a household servant.  The son of God stooping down to wiping the dirt from the feet of His people.  Is there any better description or account of doing the will of God?  The actual Messiah, Jesus kneeling down and cleansing those who needed cleansing the most?  Such moments like this had to have left deep impressions upon His followers.  Having the One who had been present at the beginning of creation wiping away dirt from their feeble human forms, what a lesson to learn!  Master becoming servant.  Jesus coming down to their level and preparing them for leadership and for eternity.  

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This is Discipleship:

In Jewish custom, a disciple was to do as the Rabbi did.  A disciple went beyond just ‘doing’ what the Rabbi did though, the purpose of a disciple was to become the Rabbi.  Literally taking on his mannerisms, his theological interpretations, his actions…everything to become just like the Rabbi.  Jesus knelt at their feet and washed them.  Jesus displayed for his disciples what they were to become to the world around them…servants of God, serving others.  Jesus even told them this when He said; “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (Matthew 20:26-28)  

Discipleship is doing the will of God, not just as a part-time worker, but a full time servant.  Many will commit to part-time work as a servant, but few, when faced with choices of comfort and personal gain will accept that full-time role.  Yet isn’t that what Christ-followers are called to do?  To be full-time disciples in our lives?  Full-time disciples of Christ doesn’t mean we give up our professional vocations and don on ropes of white and live off of the land.  God can and will use you as His disciples right where you are at.  Sometimes He asks us to move and to switch vocations, but many times He can and will use you if you are available for His purposes.  True discipleship though looks very much that Jesus with towel wrapped around His waist washing feet.  True discipleship may take on roles we feel are beneath us, not befitting one from our status…yet Jesus knelt down and washed the disciples feet, are you prepared to do so as well to those around you?  Are you prepared to be a full-time disciple?   

William Law once wrote; “The devout, therefore, are people who do not live to their own will, or in the way and spirit of the world, but only to the will of God.  Such people consider God in everything, serve God in everything, and make every aspect of their lives holy by doing everything in the name of God and in a way that conforms to God’s glory.” (William Law, A serious call to a devout and holy life)  

Do you view your life in this way?  Is everything God’s?  Are you doing the will of God because you are His humble servant?  This is the cost of discipleship, but it’s not drudgery or done with groaning but instead because of love we cannot  help but to serve the One who has set us free.  Are you prepared to wrap that towel around your waist?  Are you prepared to kneel down before those around you and to wash their feet?  God doesn’t need any more part-time workers, He wants full-time servants who are committed to do His will.  

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God called His Bride to be Sheep-stealers and growth competitive??

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We utter agreements to work together.  We vow to ‘come along side one another’.  But are all these promises false?  Are we faking it ? I’m speaking to fellow pastors and church members.  Do we really intend to support each other even if we don’t belong to the same denomination or brick and mortar church?

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It seems all too often that we are so preoccupied with what we are doing in our ministries that we do not have time to support the greater ecclesia.  We have our heads down and we are plodding onward completely oblivious that there are other Christians in our own community struggling and in need of Christian fellowship and support.

Is this what Christ had in mind when He prayed to the Father “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,  that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:20-21  I don’t think this is what Christ had in mind at all.  In fact I believe that He is greatly saddened by our separation from one another.

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“Don’t be a sheepstealer!”

Conversely then, if we are called His bride, we the church, how can we justify the sheep stealing that takes place among churches?  Are we in competition with one another?  Has it become strictly about who has the most congregants in the pews?  Will God, one day reward us in heaven for the amount of sheep we have stolen from another flock?  NO!  I’ve literally seen the smirks and pride on the faces of some pastors when they compare their churches.  This ought not be!!!  I have witnessed the arrogance of some who look down on smaller congregations simply because of their size of memberships.   This cannot exist in the body of Christ!  I am not saying this because I grew up in small congregations and also now pastor one.  I’m saying this because when we start comparing our church flocks and when we start looking down our noses at other Christians we allow sin and pride into our midst.  After all didn’t Jesus say; “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:42-45 (NIV)

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“Sad but true!”

Pastors, stop acting prideful of your accomplishments.  Stop comparing yourselves with what other churches are doing and looking down your noses at smaller congregations.  Don’t let pride seep into who God has call His body to be.   Congregations stop trying to be better than the church down the street.  Stop wearing a fake front in order to impress and steal congregational members from other churches!  You are hurting the body of Christ!

Is this an indictment on the Western Church?  Perhaps.  But am I to judge?  It’s not my place to throw blame anywhere, I’m just as guilty as the next pastor is.  But what I am saying is beware, be careful pastors and church members!  Satan would love nothing more than to tear you down with your pride and arrogance so that you resemble more of the world and less like Christ.  Watch out, because he would love nothing more than to destroy our fellowship of believers!

God’s Bride needs to stop comparing.  She needs to stop the sheep stealing and competing with itself.  We cannot act like the world because we are made for so much more than this.  We are to reflect the very heart of Christ…and if we aren’t then we either need to readjust our course or be prepared to face His displeasure and judgement.

Attention: People Pleasers…it’s pointless.

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When it is all said and done, our feeble meanderings and our efforts of people pleasing will be meaningless…in the grand scheme of things and in God’s glory if we have not lived as servants first and spent our time sharing the grace of God with others we will have little or nothing to show of our earthly efforts and endeavors. -Just a thought.

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