Really Nice Church People, 3 Really Bad Habits!

The Pastors Pen Logo smallDear Church Family,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I read a great article on which this week’s Pastor’s Pen is based. But before I go there I want to say what a wonderful job out children did this past Wednesday night in the Church Drill. These children really showed us adults up in their ability to quote scripture, handle God’s Word, and in finding key passages of God’s Promises. This is a commendation to those who have worked so diligently with the children preparing them for drills both here in our church walls and at home. Thank You! And GREAT JOB CHILDREN!

Also, we will be starting our Study in Colossians – Christ Is All You Need this Wednesday night. I hope you will make your plans to join us and bring somebody with you.

You may wonder why should I attend this Bible Study; Are there any benefits to me? Providing a focused study of God’s Word is always a healthy practice for any church or person. While your church may experience only some of these benefits, no doubt you will reap some of these benefits:
• The church reasserts the priority of Bible study.
• Bible Book Study offers the opportunity to involve the entire family in Bible study.
• Unchurched families may recognize through a short-term study the value of participating in an ongoing Bible study group.
• Pastors can preach and/or teach in-depth from one book of the Bible or portion of a Bible book.
• Bible Book Study can help build your desire to and help you see the need to have attendance at other times in the church life.
• Transformation can occur in learners as they are drawn into a study of God’s Word.
• Bible Book Study can encourage learners to become lifetime students of God’s Word.
• Members will find an additional source of strength as they enjoy hearing some of the best Bible teachers in the church discuss a common text.
• Children will be nurtured in their spiritual journeys as they observe the priority their parents place on studying God’s Word.
• Sunday School teachers and other Bible study leaders have an opportunity to be learners, giving them spiritual refreshment.
• Relationships (old and new) are built as people participate in Bible study.
So see, there are benefits to joining us on Wednesday nights for this wonderful study, Colossian – Christ Is All You Need. See you Wednesday!

Now into the focus of this week’s Pastor’s Pen.
but sometimes we do really inappropriate things. I personally have never been guilty of any of these faux pas, but maybe you have. By the way, I was kidding, I am very guilty too of these three and many more bad habits. I am trying to watch it and improve though.  (Incidentally, there are more than three nasty habits, but I have a luncheon to attend.)

1. People enjoy, but sometimes don’t express thanks.
Many Christians boast of their church’s phenomenal resources and programs but never financially support them in any way.
Many claim to be faithful 10-percent-tithe givers, but church records show otherwise. Church Ministry does cost dollars. Please give to support your church and her ministry.

These same people don’t say “Thank you” very often either for the things that they believe they are entitled to receive.
The thinking goes something like, “The church was here before I got here and it will be here long after I go. They are NOT depending on me personally to keep them going.”
Or …“My parents gave to this church for years and years, so, I’m good.”

It’s interesting how some Christians are responsible to HOAs, club dues or fitness facilities, but refuse to share the cost of “doing business” at their church.

2. People often make prayer requests that evolve into gossip.
This is fairly subtle and operates at a low level like static electricity on your pant leg. It can go on a long time without being noticed … then, SNAP!
s business.  You should not have to sign a nondisclosure agreement to enter a church! Laughable?

(SUPOSE) Well, though it seems so, one business man shared with his small group the issues he was having with his company during their prayer time. Someone else in the group used the information to leverage a buyout of that company as part of a silent partnership he was involved in elsewhere. It was despicable behavior, but this gentleman had it all compartmentalized in a way that benefited him … and only him.

Gossip and heartfelt disclosure can turn into disaster.

3. People often feel like their only role is to evaluate and criticize.
I have talked to hundreds of folks in churches in which I had no active part. their first words to me were to complain about the things they disliked about their church or it’ leaders. Most of these folks do so as if their only value to the church is to correct its wrongs. Frankly, my first reaction to these people is embarrassment. Why are they telling me these things? I’m a stranger, a person they have yet to know, but they are giving me details that they should only give to a trusted friend who is a stakeholder in their institution.

There is a kind of culture among the “in house” church critics. They operate primarily by stealth. They find out information through various means, and make sure it is dispersed in the worst possible ways. They are lethal. They are toxic, and any of us could be guilty of their sins at any point in time.
While evaluation and criticism have a place in any organization, we, its members, are not called to make that our exclusive gift to the community. Forward progress is made by people who do lots of work and occasionally evaluate … not the other way around. (Don’t air the dirty laundry.)

Is it possible for Christians to be nasty and behave badly? Oh, yes. That’s why Jesus died for us! Thankfully most of us as Christians are on our best behavior most of the time. But do think about this and try to avoid these three and the many other dirty little habits that can sneak into our lives.

In Christian Love and With Many Prayers,

Pastor Rick Signature

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