Pastor Mike’s Garage August 11th, 2022

*Pastor Mike’s Garage-Aug 11/2022*

How’s your summer going? We had a good weekend at the church camping
weekend last weekend! I think Chris Toth knocked it out of the park with
what he had to share concerning the church. From time to time, I think it’s
important to take a step back and take a hard look at how and why we do the
things we do. I believe that it’s important in every area of our lives,
church included! I’m currently re-reading a book recently recommended to me
by Francis Chan called Letters To the Church. It has so impacted me that I
have in turn recommended it to several others and even bought a few copies
to give out. I say re-reading because I just finished it yesterday and I
was so challenged by it I immediately started reading it again.

He starts the book like this, “Imagine you find yourself stranded on a
deserted island with nothing but a copy of the Bible. You have no
experience with Christianity whatsoever, and all you know about the Church
will come from your reading of the Bible. How would you imagine a church to
function? Seriously. Close your eyes for two minutes and try to picture
“’Church’” as you would know it. Now think about your current church
experience. Is it even close? Can you live with that?”

I find myself asking the questions, what are we doing here? What am I doing
here? What am I supposed to be doing here? We have something called the
Great Commission. Jesus’ parting words, His last instruction to us His
followers. I’m thinking it’s probably pretty important. How central is it
to every decision, every agenda, every program, every event, every dollar
we spend as a church? How similar is how we are doing things, and the
things we tend to focus our time, money, and energy on, to anything found
in the bible? Most of the books of the New Testament were literally letters
to churches of that day. While I am not saying this book is in any way
equal to scripture, Francis is also writing a letter to the church of this
day and age. Much like the authors of those original letters he doesn’t
pull any punches. He’s calling us out on some stuff! As I read the book
initially, I felt affirmed in some of the questions and concerns I’ve had
for quite some time in how we do things. Then he went on to shed some light
on a few areas that I just had an uneasy feeling about but just couldn’t
put a finger on what was wrong. But then the book went on to so much more
than that. I have been having a real gut check season on how my own
Christian life is being played out, both as a person and a pastor. To be
honest I don’t like what I’ve been seeing in the mirror as of late! The
reality is though, it’s not that there was a change to what I’ve been
looking at, but rather possibly I’m just seeing who I am a bit clearer!

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged
sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of
marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no
creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the
eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12,13

Pastor Mike