Coach Dave Daubenmire
June 9, 2011
Note: Please keep us in prayer as we travel to Joplin with relief supplies.
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. -John 9:4
When did “work” become a four letter word to Christians?
Maybe it is just me, but I have the hardest time finding Christians who want to do anything. In fact, I get a lot of criticism from Christians because of the things I do.
I am not a “better” Christian than anyone else…far from it…just because I actively engage my faith. But the more I “do” in the form of “ministry” the more alive my faith tends to become. My faith is not more “real” than that of others…it is just more fun.
Ok, I’ll admit it. I love the rush of adrenaline (Holy Ghost) I feel when I am actively involved in living out my faith. It is like the difference between watching a movie about white-water rafting, and actually jumping in a raft and riding the waves.
No wonder Christianity is boring to most people. Watching someone else shoot the rapids does not translate into goose bumps. Putting your own paddle in the water does.
It is not unusual to hear comments from pew-sitters regarding our forays into the streets, actively causing our “theology to become biography in the streets”; this “living out of our faith” often makes spectator-Christians nervous.
“Well, I appreciate what Coach does, but I think he goes about it wrong.” Or, “Coach Dave’s ministry is a little too edgy for me.” Or, “I am afraid that he turns away more people than he draws to Jesus by his methods.” Or, my favorite, “I appreciate what he does, but I don’t like the way he does it.”
This response always shuts the pew-sitters up…”I like the way I do it a whole lot better than the way you DON”T”
So, today’s question from The Coach is ”Why has Christianity become such a spectator-sport?”
Our latest ministry outreach into Joplin has opened my eyes once again to the fact that most Christians have no idea how to engage their faith. Please understand that this is not a criticism, but merely an observation.
Look at your local church. What type of ministry outreach does your group of believers engage in? If you are honest, you would probably admit that most “outreaches” are done for the sole purpose of “bringing people into the church.” Most church leaders think any ministry that does not “grow the church” is not worth the effort, and especially the finances. But this is one of the roadblocks to ministry…the idea that the job of a pastor is to “grow a church.”
I think that there would be a lot more ministry work going on if we realized that the purpose of our faith is to “BE the church”, not grow it. . It is a Kingdom that is being expanded, not a ministry.
Sadly, most Christians have no idea what that means. And why don’t they understand how to “be the church?” Mainly because their pastor has not done a good job of showing them how to “play the game.” They would rather watch movies of the battle than they would participate in it.
John 10:3-4 tells us what the role of the pastor is. “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”
Truth be told, most pastors have no idea how to “lead them out” or “go before them”, and as a result, the sheep only learn to eat the food while they are in the sheep pen (church). Any sheep that spends his time only eating and never exercising will become dull and listless. Jesus preached a “Go Ye” Gospel but we have turned it into a “Come Ye.”
Ravenous wolves are destroying our churches, and if my reading of John 10 is correct, it is the false shepherds, “hirelings” John calls them, that are selling out the sheep for their own gain. My greatest opposition still comes from the hireling standing in the pulpit.
Meanwhile, the sheep are atrophying, sitting in the pews like cattle in a stall, waiting for their next load of feed, chewing on last weeks cud, waiting on the Rapture…
There, I said it…the Rapture. Nothing brings me more hate mail than when we bring up the touchy subject.
Let me stop right here. This commentary is not about the Rapture and I will not use it to engage in a debate over it. Honest people have deeply held convictions about it and it is not my place to enter into a theological debate.
This commentary is not about the Rapture…it is about how your belief about it impacts the way you respond.
Have you ever heard Tim McGraw’s great song “Live Like You Were Dying?” The premise of the song is that you would change the way you lived if you knew that your time on earth was short. You’ve heard the penetrating question, “What would you do if you knew you would be dead a year from today?”
Or let me put it another way…if you knew that a devastating tornado was about to hit your town would you call and warn as many folks as you could, or would you merely sit on the couch and lament, ”Well that’s what the Bible said would happen.”
What you believe affects what you do. If you really believe in the imminent return of The Christ how can you sit in the pew? “Work while the sun shines…”
The world is rocking and reeling, something is going on. Look at all of the media attention that one preacher’s “end of the world” date-setting received. Even those who are not of the family of God understand that there is something in the air…
I don’t know what the future holds nor does anyone else. Every time there is a tornado, or an earthquake, or an hurricane, or a tsunami, we hear talk about “the judgment of God” and “end times” predictions. No matter what your end-times eschatology, your response should be the same.
If you believe in Rapture, get to work. If you don’t believe in Rapture, get to work. If you believe many are going to be “left behind,” get to work. If you believe we have to go through a tribulation period, get to work. If you believe we are IN the tribulation period, get to work. If you believe God has not appointed His children to wrath, get to work. If you believe there is a wrath to come, get to work.
Have you even considered the possibility that what you believe could be wrong? Do you give any thought at all for the condition of the un-saved? Are you not concerned about what type of America we are handing off to our children? If the end of days is upon us, should we warn folks? If the end of days is not upon us, shouldn’t we fight for the future of our posterity?
Most churches collect a tithe to meet the needs of the church. They pay a staff, utilities, repairs, and the mortgage with very little of the budget spent on “meat.” Most churches have a “missions” budget as if “missions” is something the church does besides paying for the upkeep of the church. Missions IS the job of the church, not just a program that the “tithe” supports.
I saw a report on TV after the tornado in Tuscaloosa that reported on the terrible tragedy of a million-dollar church being destroyed. The pastor was lamenting the loss of the structure and the impact it would have on “his” congregation. I jumped off of the couch and yelled at the TV.
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“Get off of your butt, Pastor and stop worrying about “your” church. Now, more than ever, is a chance to teach God’s people how to BE THE CHURCH.”
I couldn’t help but wonder if those in the church cared that the million dollar church was going to be “left behind” anyway. It is souls that matter…not stuff.
The fields are white unto the harvest. You will never make a difference if you hide inside your stained-glass fortress.
It is time to get to work!
Check out our trip to Joplin.
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