Wednesday, July 9, 2014

7Eleven Freebies

To Celebrate the Birthday of 7-11 they are giving away freebies all week. It's time to smile and enjoy summer.
No strings attached (just walk in):
• Friday, July 11: Small Slurpee
Must download 7-Eleven app:
• July 12: Big Gulp soft drink
• July 13: M&M's Birthday Cake Flavor candies
• July 14: Grandma's Cookies
• July 15: Hostess Twinkies
• July 16 Snickers or Twix brand ice cream bar
• July 17: Quaker Chewy Yogurt snack bar
• July 18: Pillsbury cookie
• July 19: Small Slurpee

Monday, July 7, 2014

More is Not Always More

My family went to our monthly church picnic this last weekend.  What a wonderful day to be at park playing with our friends and eating amazing food.  My daughter was cranky hungry, so we filled up her plate first.  We made sure that she had all the basics and included a small cookie as her special treat.  As the day continued on my daughter grabbed a few more cookies without our knowledge.  Then halfway through the hot day we handed out Otterpops to all the kids.  A little while later my daughter was complaining about a stomach ache.  We tried giving her water, letter her rest, going to the bathroom, and anything we could to relieve her of this pain.  After a while we had discovered that she had eaten waaaaay to much sugar.  More sugar at the time sounded like a great idea to her, but later she paid the consequences.  

This reminded me of the problem I have had at many of the churches I have served.  Every year the church staff gets together to review the programs and activities of the church as well as to plan for the coming year.  Tell me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't it seem like a trend that on the years the church is struggling as a whole the default answer is to do more.  We need more prayer, more programs, more worship, more outreach, more staff, more stuff, more people.....

Yes, sometimes we do need more of something like more toilet paper cause I just ran out, but often times I believe God is calling us to refine our purpose and do less, better.  As a body of believers we are called to Love God (Worship/Prayer), Love Others (Outreach/Evangelism), and Learn about who God is (Discipleship/Bible Study).  

At one of the churches I served at we were so consumed with the activities happening after worship that we forgot to plan for worship itself.  We planned for weeks about this "Fun" activity after church, that worship that Sunday was less than fulfilling.  Our attendance was lower than normal and that "Fun" activity served to be detrimental to our church rather than helping to grow the church.  People were so exhausted from preparing and putting on the activity that the quality of our primary church programs (bible study, worship, and youth group) got reduced or pushed aside.  Several new families attended the "Fun" activity, but ended up not staying more than a week or two at the church because what we offered on a regular basis was subpar in my view point.  

The initial assessment by the Church leadership was that we needed to do more of these "Fun" events and make them bigger and better. The thought process is like putting a bandage on a severed limb.  It might slow the bleeding, but doesn't address the root cause or fix the problem.  Our worship looked more like a fish flopping on the sandy beach and our bible studies could have been mistaken for just a social gathering.  

Our primary programs of the church (worship, small groups, outreach/evangelism) should be something we are proud of and want to share with the world.  May what we do exemplify God.  And May we remember that sometimes less is more. :).  Oh don't forget to smile.