Last Wednesday, Downriver Christian Community Church hosted its annual Ministerial Appreciation Dinner at the Red Fawn in Allen Park. This dinner is celebrated once a year in appreciation for all the members of Downriver Christian Community Church who have volunteered in the numerous ministerial roles contained within the church. Since the church is involved in many ministries both within and outside the church, the dinner was well attended. The food at the dinner was outstanding, and the fellowship very enjoyable and uplifting. It is not often that almost the entire church body is able to join together, sit down, eat together, and just hang out with others from the church body in good Christian fellowship. In speaking with many people who attended the dinner, it was a very good time for one and all.
As I thought about the different ministries and the people involved with them, I thought about Paul's exhortation to the Colossians in chapter 3 that "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man." I know that the many members at DCCC take this verse personally and go way beyond the challenge it gives. It is my pleasure to see the enthusiasm of God's people in the volunteer work they perform as well as the results obtained.
There are many churches in the world today where the mind set is short-term with no long-term vision in mind either for their church, lives, culture, or the world. There are numerous reasons why this condition exists in these churches, but the main overriding reasons are that most of these people have been taught an "escapist" or "world is going to hell" doctrine. With so many modern day pastors and teachers preaching the soon coming end of the world or a supposed "Biblically predicted" continued decline in morality and world conditions, is it any wonder the modern church has lost, in most cases, any type of society reforming or cultural leading vision? Most churches have just hunkered down within the four walls of their churches waiting for the dreaded end to come. Is this type of thinking and preaching even Biblical? Without getting into a long response to that question, let me just say that the end results of this kind of mind set have helped produced the stagnant, obscene, rotting, and poisoning culture that we see in our world today.
John M. Richardson once said, "When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened!" Instead of having a vision of and building for permanence for a future generation, many Christian leaders and people have developed a "trailer-park mentality" where our service to God is cheap, shoddy, short sighted, and temporary. Instead of being trail blazers and boldly facing and forging a future with hope and confidence by leaving a legacy and an inheritance for future generations, we offer to God and future generations, services for which Malachi rebuked the Israelites - cheap, worthless and not worth much of anything!
We have been called by God to present the very best to him as our spiritual act of worship and this includes EVERYTHING in our lives. When we neglect Bible study, prayer, fellowship, giving, fasting, evangelism, teaching, visitation of the poor and sick on a constant basis, or constantly complain that things don't go like we would want, we can't help but build a future for others upon a foundation of sand with building materials of wood, hay and stubble. Instead of visualizing and planning for a great future for mankind in Christ Jesus, we turn the responsibility over to those who do have a vision and plan for the future no matter how corrupt and anti-christian it is. Eventually, when their vision and plans come to fruition, we'll wonder what happened and how did things ever got into the awful conditions that we find ourselves in. We'll have no one else to blame but ourselves and our impotent "trailer park" brand of Christianity!
At Downriver Christian Community Church, we will continue to offer our services to God with every ounce of strength we have, never settling for second best or offering to him something inferior! We will have a vision for and build toward permanence with excellence as our standard, always mindful of who we are building for. May we never settle for a "trailer park mind set," satisfied with living below the spiritual poverty line with no intention in improving ours or others lot in life, but may we continue to strive for a mind, will, and culture set on glorifying God now and forever!
Stay Holy, My Friends!