July 17, 2013
We have it so easy in the American church. We really do. Last week I attended our annual gathering of Christian churches at the North American Christian Convention in Louisville, Ky. I learned so many things, but one stood out for me. At all the main sessions, a different missionary from a foreign country gave their testimony. They spoke of beatings, shootings, sacrifices, and great persecutions they were enduring because of their faith. I came away with one simple truth and I’m feeling feisty about it – We in the American church have it so easy! We should not be complaining or (complacent) about anything. When compared to the scars of others, we are sheltered and spoiled. What do we have to whine about really? Someone else sat in our favorite seat for worship? We had to adapt to a needed change? We were asked to serve a couple hours a week, or give money we already have? Oooo. Tough times!
So a new rule around here at Whitewater – no whining and complaining!! When you have scars, you can start griping. When you get thrown in jail for sharing about Jesus, you can groan. When you get shot at (with real bullets), you can criticize.
It is said that when the British and French were fighting in Canada in the 1750s, Admiral Phipps, commander of the British fleet, was told to anchor outside Quebec. He was given orders to wait for the British land forces to arrive, then support them when they attacked the city. Phipps’ navy arrived early. As the admiral waited, he became annoyed by the statues of the saints that adorned the towers of a nearby cathedral, so he commanded his men to shoot at them with the ships’ cannons. No one knows how many rounds were fired or how many statues were knocked out, but when the land forces arrived and the signal was given to attack, the admiral was of no help. He had used up all his ammunition shooting at the “saints.”
I have come to believe that the church in American today does not ask too much, but too little. Just sayin. If you’re still not convinced, check out these links to see how fellow Christians in the rest of the church are being treated. (persecution.com or opendoorsusa.org).
That’s why our summer series on truth is so important. If we really have the truth, it is worth sacrificing for, fighting for, (and even dying for). In fact, you never know the importance of a truth until it becomes a matter of life or death. This coming weekend we will summarize the ‘Essence of Christianity’ and then follow it up with 5 messages on the 5 top competing religions out there today in our world. (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Hinduism, Islam, and Atheism.) We might need some extra prayer and security for these!
Speaking and serving truth is important. Serving is part of the DNA of who God wants us to be. That’s why Whitewater Crossing is declaring ‘All Hands on Deck.’ It’s our signal to everyone who calls Whitewater home to continue serving faithfully, or join a serving community to accomplish the mission of Christ. Summer is a key recruiting and training season for several of our strategic serving communities, and the perfect time to prepare our environments for the anticipated increase of people on our campus this fall. Guest Services, Community Groups, Facilities, and Family Ministry (kids and teens) all have dynamic opportunities for you to serve.
Specifically, our Harbortown KIDS serving rotation follows the school year and begins this September. Those Harbortown KIDS leaders are literally calling all Hands on Deck! Check out their display as you enter the Youth Wing for opportunities to serve kids, parents, and behind-the-scenes. In light of the sacrifice others are making around the world, what are you waiting for? Inquire or join the serving team God designed you for at Serving.
Speaking of Children’s Ministry, we are very pleased to announce the addition of Beth Maxey to our Children’s Ministry Staff as a part-time Elementary Associate. Beth is a wonderful addition to our team and will provide creativity and support to our ever growing children’s ministry led by Becky Thatcher.
It’s warm, it’s July, and we are halfway through The Story! And we are indeed spoiled.