This first cartoon has been on my desktop for weeks. The church I serve as pastor has as part of its name "Community Church", and the community aspect is very important to me.
A couple of random thoughts on the word community that has stuck in my mind over the last few years ...
1. A community leader once made a comment to me when I asked him about whether there were churches in the past involved in a local community trust (which I now belong to)
He told me that in the past there were pastors who came on board but did not last long - his off the cuff remark was "they were more interested in helping their own community." Ouch!
So how do Christians (or better still, should Christians) define the term "community"?
Is it to be in terms of "Christians" who become part of a local church community? As in church members?
Then another community leader made the comment that there were 20 plus churches within a 2 km radius of the local schools (6 schools all within walking distance of each other). This was a comment later repeated to me by yet another community leader.
Personally I know of .... 6 churches (at least one in each school), 2 church buildings on my church street, 5 on another street within 1 km of my church and 3 more across the main road - also within 1 km. And I know of a number of churches which rent out their church premises to other congregations ... So I don't think the comment of 20 plus churches is an exaggeration.
I am glad the relationship between me and another local pastor (of a church that meets across the road in a school) has been growing stronger as the months go by, and that we see areas in which we can help one another to make a positive impact on our community (defined as neighborhood). And I am glad to see that both of us are making inroads in different aspects of our community engagement.
This next cartoon troubles me as it is too close for comfort. The problem of keeping the status-quo in many churches bothers me. I can see that often there may be agreements in principle but the passion and commitment that is needed to work towards principles is often missing.
Of course I am aware that I must be patient and realistic as it is "my job" to think about "kingdom matters" 24/7 and most do not have the luxury of such time. But still .... it almost seems mediocrity, sedentary Christian living, keeping the status-quo and being over comfortable with "secular culture" is that expected norm?
A bit off topic but hey, since I am rambling ...
Last night I made the comment (youth camp) that I think it is plainly WRONG for Christian youth to use OMFG in their postings. I probably offended a few and re-established my growing reputation of a really uncool Christian / pastor.
And I am particularly irritated with the "in-thing" where the term "wicked" is used to describe how great something is. I can't see how people can nod approvingly when a leader ( BTW Not referring to any of my youth or young adults!) makes a comment "O God, you are so wicked!" (meaning, O God you are so awesome). And especially when the word "awesome" is used to describe practically every insignificant thing.
I fear for the future generations if it becomes trendy to describe God as wicked instead of awesome and mundane things awesome especially when some of these things are actually borderline wicked