I took my two oldest children to band practice this morning. Though I don’t always use it well, I believe time in the car with my kids is Deuteronomy 6:7 time: time to dialogue with and instruct my kids about following Jesus. In doing this I try take a cue from something out the window or something going on in our lives. Since we happened to be passing a life-giving church, I decided to use that church as my cue.
“Guys, that is a great church. That pastor has been there for over 30 years and he’s been faithful to Jesus and to his wife and he’s raised his kids well. The church has many leaders who love Jesus and they’ve seen many, many people come to Jesus over the years. They are a very active part of our community and they really love the people who live in Logan Square. That is a church is a church that is being faithful to Jesus.”
Then I prayed for the church, thanking God for their faithfulness and asking God to bless them with a new season of growth and refreshing. After praying it was time for a little more instruction.
“Guys, it will always be easy to talk about other churches based on the few things they do wrong. A lot of times people talk down about other churches to feel better about their own church [pastors in particular–but we’re slick about how we say it so that you’d hardly know we were talking down]. That is no way to be a family. Always look for ways to bless and speak well of other churches. Other churches are part of God’s family and God’s family speaks well of each other.”
Can I make the same appeal to you?
- Let’s pray for other churches.
- Let’s see them as Gospel allies who love our city and our savior like we do.
- Let’s stop people from speaking unkindly of other churches when they’re in our presence.
- Let’s operate like a healthy family in our speech and thoughts about our cousins who meet in other places under other leaders.
- Let’s put a smile on the face of Jesus because we operate with real love for each other.
And for those of you asking the important question, “who’s in the family? How do I know if a church is life-giving?” let’s tackle those questions tomorrow…