- Phone: (641) 627-5021
- Mailing Address: 700 Johnston Street, Otley, IA 50219
Last week, we talked about 5 ways visitors view the church. To refresh ourselves, let’s take a moment to identify them together
How can we combat these issues at Otley Church? Well, there is no one shot which conquers all, but we can take some steps towards being better.
Think of the Facebook “selfies” people so often take on their phones, they make sure everything is perfect. If it is in your home, you likely make sure everything in the background is picked up, right? You can’t have a picture of a dirty house!
We need to be authentic. We need to be who we are and not be different people on Sunday morning than we are on Wednesday afternoon or Friday night.
We also need to cease being judgmental. As the song says, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. This also includes the “punk rockers” the “emos” “the bikers” and the people who might not look like “us.”
The reality is all of us need Christ and sometimes, putting on your “Sunday Best” may mean we are trying to hide that fact.
Here’s the “Cliff Notes” version. Matt was a worship leader in England. Their church had a great band, but the congregation was struggling to find meaning. The pastor at the time decides to get rid of the band, sound system and insisted they sing acapella. They were making it too much about consumerism and not enough about giving. It was one of the first songs they sang after they “gave up” the sound system for awhile. They remembered what was most important.
We too need to focus on God in worship. It is not about us, our preferences. Pastors and staff often hear complaints about worship, particularly the songs. I wish we would sing more hymns....the next week someone else says. Oh I can’t stand those old songs...and someone says, I don’t like the organ/guitar/keyboard.
Perhaps, too we make a spectacle of ourselves in worship by trying to draw more attention to ourselves. (Reality Check: if we are trying to draw any attention to ourselves, we are missing the point of Sunday Services). As leaders, we are supposed to lead people back to God...not to ourselves.
Salt is an incredible way to increase flavor, right? The correct amount and it can make certain recipes and dishes “sing.” Yet, too much, and it ruins the dish....the same can happen with our worship.
This is a misnomer. We can believe in Jesus Christ, believe he saved us from our sins, that he died and rose again.....but it is ok to question why it was us whom he saved. It’s ok to not completely understand the Trinity...or how God is both Fully-human and fully-divine. Questions also lead to deeper understanding.
This is like insider trading. Guests who come in likely don’t know the complete code. They don’t know everything which is happening. They are at a distinct disadvantage. We need to do our best to find clarity without sacrificing the message itself. This is not only for me on the pulpit, but for us as we are in the pews as well.
As believers, we need to reach out to ALL. While it is nice to see our friends and acquaintances at church and to catch up over coffee, our primary purpose should not be to socialize at church. We should be looking to welcome the downcast and the outcast. It does not take much, it is a simple invite. It is a simple question of what their name might be.
It is getting out of our comfort zones and saying, I care about you.
Which of the 5 issues do we need to work on as a church? What do you need to work on as an individual?