Dec 152010
 

It’s a “no-no” to use the word “stupid” in the Butcher household but sometimes you just have to use the right word to describe something.

I came across something that is just plain STUPID!

I repeatedly talk about the fact that unfortunately Christians are often known more for what they are “AGAINST” rather than what they are “FOR”! We get too much publicity for boycotts, protests, and basically what we are against rather than being proactive in the local community to offer positive impact.  We should be known for what we are FOR!  I am for people, I am for life, I am for children, I am for making a difference, I am for making someone’s Christmas special.  We could go on and on.  One public school administrator recently spoke about a local church’s activity in the community, “They are serving to be heard”.   He was speaking about a local church serving through kindness and making a practical difference in order to have credibility in the community.  Credibility leads to being heard.  Sometimes when you serve, people ask, “Why”?

I came across an article on the web describing a local church in TX that has set up a “naughty or nice” website for people to post businesses that either say “Merry Christmas” (nice) or “Happy Holidays” (naughty).  The web site is grinchalert.com and allows people to list businesses that promote “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”.

Is this what the Christian faith has come to? Have we taken the majestic and powerful gospel and the great commission and resorted to this as it’s expression? That is just plain stupid.

You can go here to see a Fox News report on this church’s efforts.  Is this the kind of publicity we want to be known for at Christmas time during an economic depression.  Why can’t there be a news report on how a church has made Christmas special for a group of orphans and widows?  What about a news report for how a church made a difference for families that have dads and moms serving overseas with the military?

Hear me out:  I am not a big fan at all of political correctness and I would rather hear “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays” any day!  I support freedom of religious expression.  I could go on.

But….

This whole campaign doesn’t take into account that everyone doesn’t believe that Jesus’ birthday is significant.  We should not put them on a “naughty” list!  They should be put on a “prayer” list. We should be praying for their spiritual eyes to be open.

Rather than waste our resources on a silly campaign for political correctness, we should be utilizing our resources for the Great Commission.

We shouldn’t trivialize what God takes serious…People’s souls at stake.

This “naughty and nice” lists makes Christians look petty and exposes us to public ridicule!

This “naughty and nice” list demonstrates weak Christian Theology!  It implies that if someone says “Merry Christmas” they are sound in their beliefs, and their relationship with God.

It simply misses the point.

In Matthew 9:36-38 it says that Jesus look at the crowds and was moved with compassion not criticism.  He saw them not as a group that should be put on a naughty list but as people in need of a savior. That should be our heart and attitude this Christmas season.  Let’s encounter people that believe differently than us with COMPASSION!  When we see or hear “Happy Holidays” may we be moved to intercede and pray for those that need to turn to the Savior whose birthday we celebrate this season.

I am with Jesus in that we should be praying for churches to be sending laborers into the harvest field rather than putting people on a “naughty” or “nice” list this Christmas season.

Don’t miss this Sunday at The Grove as we conclude our “Griswold Family Christmas” with the Advent focus on LOVE.  See you Sunday

Until then:  Keep praying, keep investing, keep inviting!

 Posted by at 11:44 am
Mar 102009
 

Last Thursday was a crazy but great day! 

The first Thursday morning of the month I get to spend my time with about 15-18 crazy guys who have either started churches or are looking to start a church.  They are insane!

It is an honor for my friend Chip Wheeler and I to help plan and lead these Church Plant Network Coaching events.  I love hanging out with guys that want to reach people and transform a community utilizing the best strategy that exist today on the planet–Church Planting!

We meet at FBC Conyers, GA and spend time in prayer from 7:30am-8:45am.  At 9am we have a guest speaker that leads us on a specific topic related to church planting and pastoring.  After our speaker leads us in a Q & A time we break out into coaching groups where we can apply the learned lessons to our specific context.   It is a blast and another way to broaden CATGrove’s Impact in the world for Jesus!

Circus

Thursday evening Jill and I took the kids to the Big Apple Circus that was showing at Stone Mountain Park.  I know it may seem funny to mention church planting and the circus in the same blog post but they do have a lot in common especially when you think of how church planters and clowns……………..well, I won’t go there!

It was a blast!  The clowns are my favorite part of the circus!

Here is the deal!  We all need to laugh.  Life is just hard at times and the recent pressures in our culture necessitate us find an outlet to relieve the pressure.  Church planting is a lot like the circus!  The Pastor and staff could possibly be confused with the ringmaster and some clowns.  The circus tent is always full of a bunch of hungry animals and people waiting to be entertained! Ouch, did I just say that!  Yep!  I’m sorry, I just needed to relieve some of the pressure from running a circus. 

I don’t know why I thought of writing a post on church planting and the circus, but somehow they just seemed to go together! 

Be Blessed!  And laugh a little this week.

 Posted by at 6:34 pm