Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Priorities

I believe that a church that puts evangelism in first place is like a family that puts the children in first place.

It isn't healthy.

I'm NOT saying that churches should not evangelize.  Clearly, evangelism is commanded and important.  Just as parents are called to love, protect and care for their children, so churches should evangelize.

BUT it has to come in the right order.  The priority relationship in the family is the marriage relationship between the father and the mother.  The priority relationship in the church is the relationship between the believer and the Lord.  The priority relationship must be nurtured and not neglected.  If the priority relationship is neglected rather than nurtured, the secondary relationship is doomed anyway.

If you love your children, nurture your marriage and make it strong.

If you long to reach the lost for Christ, nurture your relationship with Jesus and grow in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love (see 2 Peter 1:5-7).  Find a fellowship of believers who will love you and encourage you to grow in holiness.  Contrary to what sometimes seems to be a growing new popular belief, this is neither self-absorption nor legalism.  This is good spiritual wisdom.

On the airplane, they always tell you, in case of emergency, to get your own oxygen mask in place before you try to help someone else with his.  If you do this, you may be able to get an oxygen mask onto even an unconscious person and bring him back.  However, if you neglect yourself, you may expire before you finish helping the other person, causing great harm to both of you.  If you don't nurture the priority relationships in your life, you will be unable to help others.

In a family or in a church, when the main focus is shifted a few degrees off the main thing, the institution is headed down a path where health and functionality will be short-lived.

2 comments:

Dawn said...

Amen and amen.

MacCárthaigh Family said...

I hear what you are saying. I am curious as to what kind of Church you and your family are a part of. Will you post about it? Put some photos on and tell us how many sisters and brothers you have etc.
There is nothing behind this request, I am just curious!