MIDWEEK MESSAGE #52
Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #52. I am honored you are taking some of your valuable time to read this MM. I seriously don’t want to waste your time so I have something I’d like to present to you.
I started this to keep in touch with you during the pandemic. Although it is not over yet, it seems like we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. So here is the favor I have to ask. Because I value your time and mine, I’d like to know what you think of the MM. I have included a real short 3 question survey. Please take a moment to read it and answer it. Please return the answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are concerned you might hurt my feelings (you won’t), you may reply to Diana at email@example.com. Here you go:
- Do you read or do you not read the MM?
- If you were writing it, what improvements would you make?
- Do you think I should continue filling your inbox with the MM?
That is it. Three simple questions. We send this to about 100+ email addresses. Diana also posts it to our FB page and it is also posted on the church’s website. That is a lot of extra work for something not read or wanted. So would you please take a moment and send an email to me or Diana and answer the three questions? And trust me: I’m not looking for pats on the back. Just answers. You can do it anonymously if you prefer. Thanks.
No pressure on that survey. It’s just that the earth may go out of orbit and the sky may fall if you don’t respond. 🙂
Well…Resurrection Sunday was all I had dreamed it would be. It was so good to see people face to face I hadn’t been able to see for what seems like an eternity. Our online service is essential but nothing can take the place of a church community being together. The best part were the visitors who came and the smiles on people’s faces. To see and hear about the activity in the youth area warmed my heart. To see the generosity of so many knowing that unless designated the offering would be going to missions. And boy did you guys come through!! In fact, you came through in spades. We were able to give 5 missions $1125 each, plus our regular offering was outstanding. I was especially stoked by the missions offering. Some missions have really been hurting due to the pandemic so the gift we were able to give speaks highly of your heart. Thank you so much!
I’m not foolish enough (plus I have been around the block a few times) to think this coming week will be like this past Sunday. But I sure can dream! 🙂 I look forward to seeing the momentum this gives us.
I’ll be resuming my series on Ecclesiastes this Sunday. Ryan will be preaching on the 18th (Eccl. 12:1-8) and then I will finish it on the 25th. My next series will be “Eyes Wide Open,” a look at how Jesus responded to individual people, especially those who were considered outcasts. Then beginning the first week of July I plan to start a 16 week series on Mark-“The Gospel for Busy People.” That could always change though so please don’t hold me hostage if it does. 🙂
Transparency time. Some will say, “Oh-oh” but rest easy. Whenever people look at the church and judge its “success” or not, it is often judged on numbers and offering. I have to admit being caught up in that in times past. Even with Resurrection Sunday, I had to guard against that thinking. “We were ‘successful’ because our building was full and our offering was good.” But I know that is not the way to judge the church. Just today (Tuesday) I finished a book called A Church Called Tov. That is pronounced with a long O and is the Hebrew word for “good” and speaks of the whole idea of a church developing a goodness culture, as opposed to a toxic culture. It was quite revealing and challenging. I hope to write a study of the book and go through it with the elders first, then if it goes well with anyone who wants to study it. Here are two conclusive thoughts it brings out at the end of the book:
A tov church is a Christ-bearing church. Its culture embraces the pursuit of “Christoformity,” a life surrendered to Jesus for the sake of others. (Recap of thoughts from pages 217-219)
Growth is good, but the purpose of the church is not numerical growth or filling seats. The purpose of the church is conformity to Christ. (p.219)
Just those two thoughts alone give rise to ideas to ponder. Following Jesus is more than words; it is actions- actions which are good. Hence, a tov (goodness) culture.
That’s it for the week. I hope you have a fantastic week. I love you all.