Our staff is reading Ten Questions To Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald Whitney. Whitney tells a story when Christianity was under attack from the Roman empire. Aristides was a Greek Philosopher who became a Christian and was called to make a defense before Antoninus Pius. Here is part of his defense: "They (Christians) love one another. The widow's needs are not ignored, and they rescue the orphan from the person who does him violence. He who has gives to him who has not, ungrudgingly and without boasting." I wonder how often we do this today. I am guilty!!!!!! Our traditional churches are so busy, Preaching the Word that we have no time to meet the physical needs of people. The Gospel is very, very, very important and without it people will go to hell, but some won't listen if we don't meet their physical needs. The early church understood this. Acts 4:33-34 says that the early Christians sold all they had to meet the needs of others. James 2:15-16 warns us against giving "verbal peace" to someone without meeting their physical needs. Donald Whitney warns, "Evangelism that ignores hollow-eyed hunger or other crying needs of the ones being evangelized is a physical contradition to the spiritual message." I fear that we as church leaders have created a monster that makes our people so busy they can't truly minister to the needs of people. There are things going on at the "church building" every night of the week. We build "Family Life Centers" to "protect" our families from the evil in the health clubs. God forbid we see a beautiful woman in spandex! (or a man in a speedo) Oh, the horror! We schedule "revivals!" Only God can bring revival and if we practiced II Chronicles 7:14 we might see it. We give money to missions and that is great, but how many actually have been on a missions trip? Jesus met people's spiritual needs but he also met many of their temporal needs. I am so concerned about the busyness of the church. Joe Kennedy mentioned some of my concerns in his post the Art of being busy. Great job Joe! When I was on staff @ Peachtree Corners Baptist, I was so busy I didn't even know my neighbors. I finally connected with a guy down the street only after he was convicted of selling drugs. What might have happened if I met him earlier? Then this week the father of one the kids Hope plays with told Cassandra that he and his wife were getting a divorce. He is really struggling. Late last night after Jacob's football practice I went down and reached out to him. Crap, I should have done this earlier but I feel I'm always away from my family doing "church business." This to me is a sin!!!!! The church needs to cut out all of our programs and junk so we can have "seeker or non-christian" friends. Donald Miller talked about this last week at Catalyst. I'm just being real, I am struggling with this. I want to be around more lost people. I want to make a difference in their lives. Get me out of the church! Get me away from only Christians! I want to meet needs. I want to be their friend. Just my rambling thoughts!
posted by Kevin Bussey at 10/12/2005 10:45:00 AM