Monday, May 31, 2010

The Drug Problem Our Kids Need

A little old lady was amazed at how nice the young man was next door. Everyday he would help her gather things from her car or help her in her yard. One day the old lady finally ask the young man, "son, how did you become such a fine young man". The young man replied, "well, when I was a boy, I had a drug problem". The old lady was shocked, "I can’t believe that". The young man replied, "it’s true, my parents drug me to Sunday School and church on Sunday morning, drug me to church for youth meetings and drug me to church my confirmation class."

THAT is a drug problem that more of our youth need today. Parents that care enough to drag them to church! When we first place our children on a swing, we don't expect them to be able to swing, so we push them and they love it! Then they learn you to swing on their own. We need to do the same thing with Sunday School, church and youth meeting attendance--push them until they learn to joy of doing it on their own.

Many churches across the nation are seeing a loss of young people in their services and the reason that they are falling to come is not the young people, but their parents! Now, just because you do all the right things doesn't mean that there will never be any problems with your kids, but if we fail to do the right things, how can we blame the youth when they no longer find any relevance in the church? Sports and other activities have encroached on the time that was historically set aside for church. So, what do we do? I believe that if all the parents who held a strong belief in the importance of church attendance all took a stand and said, "my kid won't be available on Sundays until after 2:00 PM," there would be a change. Teams wouldn't want to forfeit games because of lack of players, so the times would change. Preachers can't affect this change, but parents can!

It comes down to this. If we want to see our children grow to love the Lord and His church, we (as parents) have to make sure that it is a priority for us and them!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Lighthouse - A Parable

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was a once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves, they went out day or night tirelessly searching for the lost.

Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous. Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding areas, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work. New boats were bought and new crews were trained. The little life-saving station grew.

Some of the new members of the life-saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and so poorly equipped. They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea.

So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in an enlarged building. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they re-decorated it beautifully and furnished it as a sort of club.

Less of the members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions, so they hired life boat crews to do this work.

The mission of life-saving was still given lip-service but most were too busy or lacked the necessary commitment to take part in the life-saving activities personally.

About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boat loads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people.

They were dirty and sick, and some of them had black skin, and some spoke a strange language, and the beautiful new club was considerably messed up. So the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club's life-saving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal life pattern of the club.

But some members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the life of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. They did.

As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. They evolved into a club and yet another life-saving station was founded.

If you visit the seacoast today you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore. Shipwrecks are still frequent in those waters, only now most of the people drown.

Author unknown

So, does this sound way too much like the state of the church today? We have become so self-centered that we have lost the vision that Jesus gave us--to seek and save the lost. Members worry about themselves, disciples worry about the lost. It is time for us to get back to the true work of the church--to seek and save the lost. If everyone takes the message of discipleship seriously, our entire outlook will change. Political correctness will be replaced by "Jesus-correctness." "what's in it for me" will be replaced by "what can I do for Jesus?"

Until we all get serious about doing the work we have been called to do, the decline in churches will continue. It is time to get off our comfy pews and get to work!