A recent book showed a cell phone image of an airport flight schedule that listed all the flights that were scheduled being CANCELLED. Underneath the listing was the promotion, "Delta Airlines. We love to fly, and it shows!"
Without debating the legitimate reasons for flight cancellations, the image raises the issue of false advertising. Are we guilty of it in the church? Do we advertise that we are the friendliest church in town, but it really means we are friendly with each other, not to guests? Do we promote Jesus' message as the way to life that is abundant and walk around with a sour demeanor? Do we preach Jesus' message about coming to Him if we are heavy laden, and yet work ourselves into the ground? Do we preach faith but live mostly in a state of anxiety about our life? Do we speak about being non-judgmental and loving, but gladly pass along vitriolic emails? Do we speak of striving for excellence in all things and then leave the bathroom floors dirty and the nursery unkempt? Do we use phrases like "joy of the Lord" in our liturgies and yet lead them like a dirge? One of the first things that people notice when they try our churches for the first time is whether there is a discrepancy between the message and the behavior. It has always been that way. This is also the reason that in the New Testament there are numerous reminders that we are watched by others and we must live lives of integrity.
In almost all the recent surveys it has been found that there is little difference between the behavior of Christians and that of everyone else. It is time that changed. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.(Colossians 4:5) He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.(1 Timothy 3:7)
New and Improved SPRINT THROUGH THE BIBLE Saturday, October 30 at Grace Community in Aurora at 9 am-4 pm. Click here to read more about the program.
Results from recent stewardship research done by Grace Institute are in and a workshop is now available for churches contemplating their next stewardship campaign. Click here for more information on Money and the Church.
Scheduling for the beginning of 2011 has already begun. Click here to see a menu of programs that you can host and receive specials as a host church.
Marriage Enrichment Program coming this fall...watch for more details.
1. The next time you have a planning meeting, look at the things planned and ask the question of whether what you are advertising is a fair representation of what will happen. 2. In planning the next worship service, evaluate the tone and content to see if they match each other. 3. Ask your leaders to evaluate their own lives in terms of demonstrated joy, peace, love for others and the rest of the fruits of the spirit.