(WARNING...COULD BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME...PROCEED WITH CAUTION)
I'm not a huge golfer. About once or twice a year I get the urge to go out and lose a bunch of golfballs. That's how I roll. I don't keep score on that little white score card. I keep score by keeping up with how many golfballs I have left at the end of 18. I enjoy it, but it frustrates me to no end, so that takes a lot of the fun out of it for me. I don't have the fancy shoes...my golf clubs came from a yard sale...and my golf bag came from Walmart. I do have a Ping putter, but it was a Christmas gift.
When we moved to Hickman, I thought, "We may actually join the country club and then I can start playing golf again." Well, no. That didn't happen. First, I couldn't justify the expense. Dues are expensive. Second, I knew I wouldn't have time to play until the house was finished, because it was eating up what spare time I had. Third, I think I had rather just go fishing than to spend all afternoon looking for a little white ball in a creek somewhere.
It would have been cool though, I guess. And please understand that I'm not disrespecting country club members. The girls could have used the pool, and Steph could have gotten to know some of the other women in town, because bless her heart, my job sure drags her around a lot. She never gets to stay in a place long enough to really know folks when she walks into the grocery store, and this could have helped her make more friends down here. But we didn't, or haven't yet, and who knows, maybe one day we will if the finances improve and we feel we just can't make it without it.
I have actually heard folks call some churches country clubs. Folks join them based on the services they provide, and I may catch some flack over this next comment but here goes...As I looked at some of the pictures posted on facebook about things that other churches had done this week, I saw all kinds of pictues about egg hunts, some of them even with big Easter Bunnies, but I saw very few pictures a worship service. There were some, but not with the smiles and laughing faces that the egg hunt pictures had in them.
Now, please don't get me wrong, I'm all about reaching out to our kids, and I'm not saying there was anything wrong with the thousands of eggs that were hidden Saturday. It's just that I read from 2 Corinthians today and it got me thinking. Paul is talking about all that he has endured for the faith and it made me ask myself, "Am I a country club Christian?" My personal answer is, "I hope not." But sometimes I wonder.
2 Corinthians 6 says, "Rather as servants of God, we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights, and hunger..." and the list goes on. This statement, combined with the things we talked about in a meeting I went to yesterday hit me like I haven't been hit in a while.
We don't make disciples anymore, we try to make folks happy...if they're happy, they'll come...if they come our parking lot will be full...if our parking lot is full people will talk...if people talk, the number on the roll will go up...if the number on the roll goes up, my bishop will see me as an effective pastor. Now please hear me, this is not a commentary on the church I'm serving now. We actually offer very little fluff and for that I'm proud of them; but for some reason, it's actually growing. We didn't do a big egg hunt, and we don't have all the bells and whistles, but for some reason, that I haven't put my finger on yet, God is moving here.
I think it's time for me to rethink my role as shepherd. I've not been called to be a member of a country club. I've been called to be a disciple maker. So, disagree with me if you want. I'm a big boy. You can text your comments to BR549. But I think it's time to rethink how we've been rethinking church. First Church, look out, we're going to start making disciples.