Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What Did You See In Church?

In David A. Zimmerman's new book Deliver Us From Me-Ville he suggests that the next time you leave church, you go home and ask yourself these five questions:
1. What did I see today that I am more interested in preserving than Jesus would be?
2. What did I see today that I am more frustrated by than Jesus would be?
3. Where was I tempted to lead more aggressively than Jesus would?
4. Where was I tempted to let pass what Jesus would confront?
5. Who needed to experience the love of God today and didn't? Why not?
These are also really great gut-check questions to ask about your church. Where are you spending time on things that you think Jesus wouldn't mess with? And where do you need to spend more time on things that you think Jesus would really care about?

Wow, if those questions don’t get you thinking, what will? These really all go back to the question that Charles Sheldon posed in his book In His Steps. The question that became popular again a few years ago—“What would Jesus do?” Too often, we come up with simplistic answers to this question. Far too often, the answers are not simple. Jesus tells us to love our neighbor; I get that, but how? Do we love our neighbor by giving them a fish, or by teaching them to fish? Do we love our neighbor by giving them a hand out or a hand up? Too often, we take the easy road: the fish and the hand out. I don’t think that this is really what Jesus would do. Yes, He fed the 4,000 and the 5,000, but he also knew when the people were coming for the wrong reasons (free food and not to learn more of the Kingdom of God.)

Do I always do what Jesus would do? Sadly, no. I wish I could say differently, but the fact remains, I am still human and fail to do the right thing. Does that mean I quit trying to do the right thing? Of course not! What would Jesus have me do? Do my best, and trust God for the rest.


Amy Florence said...

Good, but tough, questions.

Chuck said...

Dear Tim,

Good post. I stumbled upon your blog today in a search for comments regarding In His Steps. I do a one-man show of that book and have since 1984. I was just out in your neck of the woods doing a retreat for a Presbyterian church in Burke, VA, where I performed In His Steps. "What would Jesus do?" A great question and still relevant for today!
Blessings, Chuck Neighbors