The Program Problem
Ok….major opportunity for misunderstanding here! Warning! LOL
We have too many programs. Seriously. Toooooooo many. In fact, if a church is not laden with programs…many think that church needs to get with the program!
A program for youth. A program for adults. Twenty-somethings. Singles with kids. Singles without kids. People who like cars. People who like boats. Zumba for Jesus! Woodworking for Jesus! Painting 101 for Jesus! Toy-train sets for Jesus!!!!! LOLOL
I’m kidding around. Really. But underneath the joking around there may be an issue: we can’t seem to solve life’s problems with just prayer, fellowship, the power of the Holy Spirit, the preached Word, and our bibles anymore. Simple faith and perseverance aren’t enough. We need experts to coach us. Every day. All day. Until the end of time.
In reality we are just copying culture and what we see in government: nothing can really be solved without a program. It makes one wonder how the people of God survived until the 20th century! Other than food distributions…there were no programs…or very few…in the majority history of the church. There was prayer, family worship, personal bible study, personal evangelism, and the gathering of the saints on the Lord ’s Day for the Lord’s Word and the Lord’s Supper. People had to actually talk to each other (face-to-face!) and walk with each other. Christians who had been through a hard time had to read bible verses, trust them, pray, and keep living, discipling, and worshipping with the knowledge that their “on earth” healing wasn’t the issue: eternity was the issue!
And that mindset in and of itself helped reduce the self-focus. With the rise of psychology in the 20th century, all that changed. I’ve said this before: in many ways, our focus on self-help is counter-productive. It keeps one SO focused on his or her problems that that itself becomes the problem. Nobody is ever really healed because we keep them in programs focused on their healing! :) The transforming power of the Holy Spirit that breaks yokes, renews, rebuilds hearts, imparts faith, explodes the power of the enemy, conforms our thoughts, enables forgiveness and gives us "move on" power from problems, and also assures us of our eternal sealing and healing? Nah…we need a class! Give us classes! (Again, a light-hearted joke...)
It really comes down to this: what God established for the growth of His people isn’t really sufficient for most of us: rigorous prayer and personal study, the preached Word and the counsel of elders, faith and perseverance, pouring your life out personally discipling and serving others, the blessing of Holy Communion, walking closely with family and Christian friends, and one of the most powerful mindsets of all...looking forward to being with Christ...an eternal perspective! I suppose I could be wrong....
Oh well, as is obvious…I am rambling. I guess I’m tired. Shucks…I have one or two programs myself. I’m a hypocrite. Please forgive me! But somewhere in these incoherent thoughts there might just be a shred of truth….maybe. ;)
(NOTE: For any of you who have been hurt by pastors/churches...please forgive us. Some of this is surely caused by our failures. We must do better. And we will!)