Summary: When it comes down to the Jesus are you a producer or a consumer?
Consumer Or Producer?
As many of you know, I spent a week up in Ohio a couple of weeks ago cramming all kinds of knowledge into my head. During that week there were a lot of things that really got me thinking. One of them was in the class I took on the local church in mission. We talked one day about why the local church isn’t as involved in local mission as they are as involved in mission in other countries. Joe Showalter is the teacher of this class. Some of you may know him, some may not, but he is President of Rosedale Mennonite Missions. He runs programs such as Reach, Swim, City Challenge (which is featured this month in the Brotherhood Beacon), and many more. He made a comment in class one day that really stuck with me and really made me think. He said that he’s had, on more than one occasion, a person or family come to him wanting to be sent somewhere as missionaries. When he started to do his research and call around to find out about something about these people, he couldn’t find any sign that they were involved in reaching lost people for the Lord in their own community here in the United States. He said what pattern shows him that going to Timbuktu will all of a sudden change this person or person’s attitude towards lost people. That really got me thinking, if I were to go before a missionary board, and try to convince them to send me somewhere, would there be enough evidence in my life to prove to them that I’m worthy of sending? Just think about it with me for a minute. Luke tells us that where your treasure is there your heart will be also. How much money do we give to missionaries overseas? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for supporting missions overseas, but at what cost to the mission on the home front? Now ask yourself how much do we give to reach our own community for Christ?
All eyes are on one thing this coming week-the election. A week from Tuesday we will find out who will take the lead of our country for the next 4 years. I’d hate to be James Keaton that night. Trying to keep everyone’s attention is going to be hard to do. There are many issues that are important to voters. Things that get them fired up on both sides of the isle. One of the main issues this year is our economy! I’m sure you’ve heard or seen the rising and falling of the stock market of late. Probably mostly the falling! But the subject of the economy is something that we all watch because it does affect us all. A lot of our jobs are in the realm of construction, which has seen a slow down. This was caused somewhat by the credit crunch and housing market downturn, which can be traced back to banking and lending issues, which lead to stocks plummeting. I’m sure we’re all affected in there somewhere. Don’t worry there is a point to all of this!
The title of my message is simply a question-Consumer or Producer? In any economy there are 2 main components-consumers and producers. Producers manufacture goods that are then purchased by the consumer. If you go to the grocery store to buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, a producer brought those items to the marketplace for you to purchase. You are the consumer. If the consumer doesn’t purchase, the producer must find other ways to get his product purchased. If the producer isn’t producing, the consumer goes elsewhere to find the items he is looking for. Both the producer and the consumer are needed to complete the process. Now that short lesson in economics 101 applies to you and the church how, you’re probably asking. Well, that’s what our message is about this morning. When it comes down to the Jesus are you a producer or a consumer? There are probably a million questions running through you heads about what in the world I’m trying to get at, but hopefully I can explain it to you.
Are we consumers or producers? Do we simply come to church and sit here every Sunday and just take in everything that is said, and then walk out those doors and not even think about Harry Homeowner next door who, as Jonathan Edwards put it, is hanging over hell on a string like a spider hanging over a fire on a thin web.
James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. (23) For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: (24) for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (25) But he that looketh into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing.