Summary: Celebration what we do in church work buit in the work of the church. Gifts make the churh move forward.
What Cha Buildin?
So here we are out side this morning enjoying the weather and the setting which is really only unusual because we don’t actually hold many worship services outside.
I considered what kind of a message that holding church on the side of a busy road and rail road line might say about us as a congregation. That being a pressing question in my mind I did some research and found a list of things that would help us to clearly indentify if we are a country church.
It works like Jeff Foxworthy’s You might be a redneck if…jokes.
You might be in a country church if:
- The Call to Worship is ,"Y’all come on in!"
- The Preacher says, "I’d like to ask Bubba to pray for the
offering" - and five guys stand up.
- Opening day of deer hunting season is recognized as an
official church holiday.
- A member requests to be buried in his truck
because, "I ain’t never been in a hole it couldn’t get me out of".
- Never in its entire history has one of its pastors had to buy any meat or vegetables.
- The church directory doesn’t have last names.
- The only time people lock their cars in the parking lot is during the
summer and only so no one leaves them another bag of zucchini!
- There is a special fund-raiser for a new septic tank.
- Finding and returning lost sheep, cows or other farm animals is not just a parable.
- High notes on the organ set dogs in the parking lot to howling.
- The biggest question that people have when Jesus fed the 5,000 is whether the two fish were brim, bass or catfish.
Some of those made me think that we are not totally a country church. However, they did not clearly give me identification to what image being in the park this morning portrays.
However, I did remember that back in June we shared a series of sermons about being a church without walls.
I don’t know if it was a prophecy or just a response that brought us out here this morning. But I believe that we can safely say that we are not a church that is hiding behind the protection of walls.
We are a church that is positioned in the community. We are a church that is purposefully living as joyous and open people.
--- We are visible to a new lever of scrutiny and judgment from everyone that passes by this morning.
That is what being a Christians boils down to. Being visible, and vulnerable to the people that pass by us in this park, in our homes, at work and any place we go.
Today, is a day we are choosing to celebrate the human labor/work that has been freely given to help this church to fulfill its purpose.
-- A little girl went to visit her grandmother for the weekend. Her grandmother went to an old fashioned Church that kept the Sabbath by forbidding all work, fun, laughing and playing.
The little girl woke up Sunday and started right off playing with her toys and giggling at her thoughts, as little girls do.
Her grandmother scolded her for breaking the Sabbath. She quieted down, went to Church where she had to be reminded to act seriously and honor God.
Later in the afternoon she went for a walk out by the barn. She went over to an old mule, a droopy eyed, sad faced, long-eared mule.
She looked at the mule for a while, and then said, “Mr. Mule, you look like you go to my grandmother’s Church.”
All too often we let the work that comes with church membership make us serious and stressed. The things that need to be taken care of seem to be never ending.
-- I see two basic categories; we have church work and work of the church.
Church work is the never ending list of things that we do and sometimes consider chores. Things like the thankless job of grounds maintenance, plumbing and painting to keep the property attractive. Church work also includes things like work days and fundraisers.
Church work can also include working in the church as teachers for Sunday school and Bible study.
Sometimes church work is serving in leadership in the church. The performance of music in worship and the lifting of needs and joys in prayer are an ongoing part of church work. Even the gift of sharing our financial resources which fuel the ministries of the church could be called church work.
Church work is important and involves almost everyone in the congregation in some way. More importantly church work is the underlying foundation to a healthy congregation.
-- However, church work is focused more on building up the congregation and preparing them for the other kind of work which is work of the church.