Wednesday, May 17, 2006

On Churchgoing

“We have a great deal of churchgoing in America. But we’re not relating this churchgoing to our personal daily lives. We have a hundred million people attending church in America, but those hundred million people are not going into their homes and their shops and their offices and in their business and putting Christ into effect. and that’s one of the reasons that I’ve been trying to emphasize in my preaching the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, trying to tell people how to apply Christ in their daily lives and in their social intercourse.”
A great quote.
It could have been pulled from one of many emerging or missional blogs that some people get so bent out of shape about, or from George Barna’s Revolution, or one of those house church groups.

It’s Billy Graham on Meet the Press in 1957, featured as the “Meet the Press Minute” at the conclusion of the 4/16/06 edition of MTP.

Thanks Brian for the quote.

It seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The issue remains the same: do we go to church or do we live as God's people. The first one is easy to do... doesn't take much time... the problem is, it's not God's way.


Scott said...

What makes it worse is often our church attending makes us less able to reach out to the world in the way we ought to.

We're to busy maintaining our buildings and programs and making sure our Sunday service seem nice for everyone that we've got no time left to reach out to the world.

michael lewis said...

Most of my "friends" who are the church-going type have not time for me. I suppose they are now acquaintances. They're too busy doing church, and not living Jesus.

I know which one I'm trying to do.

pastor mike said...

Those of us who call ourselves "evangelicals" often criticise the formality, hierarchy and church building emphasis of more "mainline" church [at least we did in the past - I don't hear it quite as often any more].
Sadly, I am hearing the evangelical church becoming more and more building focused, and less and less relational [not in a causual way, but in a deep friendship way: with others in the kingdom; with those not yet in the kingdom; and with those who the edges].
The whole emerging church/conservation if it is going to be really effective and used by God is gong to have to keep it's focus upward [to God] and outward [to others - inside and ourside the kingdom] and not, by default, turn inward [to self].

patti a said...

I have seen "those too busy 'doing' church", but I have also seen wonderful, servants, who though to some may seem too busy "doing" church, are infact being obedient to God and the call on their lives. It may seem insignificant, time consuming, but its Gods plan [for them]. Doing church can be a great way to connect, and build relationships. Serving together can be a wonderful way to build those deep friendships. I guess the problem comes when they are too busy doing church and as stated, are NOT living Jesus, that is a serious problem. Therefore the reason for the lack of friendship would not be their busyness, rather other issues (not living Jesus?).

pastormike said: Sadly, I am hearing the evangelical church becoming more and more building focused. This is sad, thankfully that is not what I hear you preach.

However I do want to comment on the original post and quote from Billy Graham. I seem to have read it very differently. From what I have seen, I disagree that this quote resembles these other sources (emerging church blog/web sites). Not just because it is Billy Graham, but because this quote, shows personal response and personal responsibility from Billy Graham, ”and that’s one of the reasons that I’ve been trying to emphasize in my preaching the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, trying to tell people how to apply Christ in their daily lives and in their social intercourse.."
He doesn't say, a hundred million go to church but do not apply that to their every day life, so the church is failing, leaders are failing, etc... He says this is a reality, so... this is what "I" am doing about it. There is no criticism, judgement; elitism. Much of what I have seen, poses the problem, the fault, the "issue", but does not offer solution.

Billy Graham is not saying so don't attend church (I have not read the whole article, just what is here). Church is not the end all, but I do not think we are supposed to go it alone. Even in "the world", support is encouraged. Whether it is weight loss, business, AA, personal trainers, there is validity in "community", "accountability". Why should it be different in our spiritual life. If your church experiences have not provided that, then keep exploring. It doesn't have to be "church" in the traditional sense, but just because it is for someone else, that does not make them wrong. Also realize you can get very busy outside the church and still not "live" Jesus.

I forget who said it many years ago at a youth convention "Go MAD"
Where ever you go -- Go Make A Difference!

pastor mike said...

Patti you make some good observations:
serving together is certainly a valid - more than that - an important | vital way of building relationships. Without being too criticial "the touchy-feely" type of relationship building for it's own sake is just as bad as church activity for the sake of church activity.

As I read ACTS 2:42-47, which I think is a pretty good model to follow :-) -there are multiple things happening, including:
* large group worship
* small group connecting & sharing of lives
* a ministry focus
* a willingness to break down walls for the sake of touching their world & beyond
* openness to the power of the Spirit

All of this happens in the context of the Spirit transforming us & our relationships. Jesus said "make disciples"... make [which includes getting barriers out of the way | equipping | teaching | baptising | delivering | empowering] passionate followers of Jesus, who in turn can make passionate followers of Jesus - not because we are doing - but because Jesus is working in and through us [as individuals and as the body]

Patti said...

See, that is why I don't get these blog conversations. When I put something in quotes and italics I am quoting, or making reference to something already stated, you seem to have gotten "the touchy - feely", from something I wrote? which I hope you understand is not what I was refering to. The main point I was trying to make was about the quote from Billy Graham. I think I will stick to selling on line. Have a good rest of the weekend.

pastor mike said...

"touchy - feely" does not refer to anything you wrote specifically. It was an attempt to identity a particular type of relationship building, that is more focused on "feeling good" than on really connecting.