Way Beyond Talk…


One of the things that bothers me about some sectors of the Church in the West is that they’re mostly talk.  That’s not going to cut it with postmodern audiences.

In lieu of yesterday’s post (“Ragnarok, Recession, and Real ID“), what practical steps can we Christians take to address the issues mentioned and do so in a Christlike manner that reflects positively on the Lord?

In the case of recession, I’ve long said that we need to better leverage the power of our church directories and fill them with as much or more info than can be found on your average social networking site. We need to know other people’s skill and they need to know ours. They need our networks and we need theirs. Enhancing the church directory is one very simple way we can stay better informed in times of crisis.

What are some other steps we can take to meet these challenges? (And feel free to be pointed, detailed, and practical in your replies. Being too “high concept” is just as bad as being all talk!)

Thanks in advance for your answers.

8 thoughts on “Way Beyond Talk…

  1. David Riggins

    One of the things our church body did was hold two 3 month long seminar series on budgeting and home finances. Several of the attendees were teachers, and they took the lessons they learned to their classrooms and taught their kids the basics of budgeting.

    Encourage friends, family, your congregation, etc, to do away with their TVs. Use the time in fellowship and volunteering instead. The early church met together daily. We should do the same. It’s the only way we can build the intimacy that is required for a healthy body.

    Focus on a neighborhood fellowship instead of crossing town to attend the church that you like. Chances are, there is a church within walking distance of your home. Look for it. If it isn’t reflecting Christ in action, then be an agent of change.

    Buy locally; at the farmers market, at the corner store, at the local bakery, butcher, candlemaker. It’s not about the money, or even where the product is made, it’s about the relationships. You will likely see the same faces every time you go in the store, and that begins the path to relationship, with leads to freindship, which leads to salvation.

    Don’t fight Jesus. He lives in you and desires to live through you. Let Him.

    • David,

      A Japanese student visitor to this country once told me that the thing that blew him away about first stepping foot into America (in the Midwest) was how everything was “spread out.”

      I’m convinced that our sprawl has hurt our ability to understand the concept of the village, a concept necessary for much of what you talk about. Restoring regional economies is one way to return to this. The “locavore” movement is helping, but we also need to start rejecting global big box stores in favor of those with local and regional roots.

      We left our church of nearly 13 years—and an hour’s drive away—to join a local one and have not regretted one second of that decision. My wife and I are far more involved in the life of the church because of this, so it’s been better for us in many ways. (Not to mention that the church is far smaller and more congenial.)

      My wife recently commented to me that the current work she’s doing has driven home how disconnected we are in America. We work outside our homes and our neighborhoods stand empty during the day. Then people come home and “cocoon.” That’s all she wrote from community right there. We’ve got to find ways to break out of that syndrome, especially us Christians. We need to be on the forefront of the battle and be fighting everything that prevents us from connecting with people.

      • David Riggins

        I had breakfast with one of our elders this morning, and “cocoon” was a word he brought up, too. In this case it was our cars and homes. He was saying that we cocoon ourselves to go from place to place, when we get home we shut the door and cocoon ourselves in the living room. When we get to church we cocoon ourselves in familiar groups for sunday school. We’ve somehow become very insular, and it effects us negatively.

        I wonder if it’s related to the story about the talents, and if we aren’t burying ourselves in the backyard in order to “ride it out” until the Master comes back. If that’s the case, we are in for an unpleasant surprise.

    • David Riggins

      It was taking too much time, and there’s a power trip mentality that grows on one when blogging. It got to the point where I actually thought that what I had to say was important. Bully pulpits are heady things.

  2. I live in southern California, and am connected in various ways with several of the local megachurches. It seems to me that the ones I have contact with are continuing in “expansion mode,” meaning, plans to launch new multi-site campuses, purchase new equipment, etc. One practical step the church could take would be to start voluntarily cutting back, for example on electricity, or catering lunches, and making a concerted effort to bank the savings. Having resources with which to help others will be crucial as more and more people lose their jobs, or their homes.

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