Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How to be an Ineffective Church Member VI Have No Vision

Church members striving for ineffectiveness have one favourite text, where there is no vision the people perish. That’s the stuff – perish – sounds a nice slow easing off into insipidity like that old apple left in the fruit basket – that is the sort of thing we are after.
So how do we go about this lack of vision stuff then? Well if truth be told, and we don’t want too much of that do we, those of us who have been endowed with melancholic pessimistic thought patterns are off to a flying start here. There is a whole soup of phrases out there simmering away in cauldron of the R.P. church that we need to keep stirring and dredging up to the surface of or own lives and indeed the lives of others: But we’ve always done it this way… it will do me my day…. we can’t have new works when we don’t have enough ministers as it is….bring all the missionaries home to fill the local pulpits….I’ve sat in this pew for 40 years….people are saying……some people don’t like…..where would we get the resources from……you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. A good regular dose of these will inoculate against the vision virus that some are catching in the RPC.
It is important that you work at establishing a good foundation for lack of vision. It all begins when you read your Bible. Never look for that mighty strong right arm of God delivering and providing for every need of His people. Remember distant disinterested deity is your god.
Vital in stemming any change in your own visionless thought patterns for church life and indeed changing the visionless thought patterns of others is being really negative. “Let’s be realistic, it will never work” is a good response to any new venture that the elders are trying to introduce to enhance congregational life. And don’t stay away from the new whatever, you simply must be there with your “Lurgan spade face” and your constant, “Woe, Woe, Woe” comments.
People who have vision for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom should be avoided at all costs. Their godly expectations and enthusiasm has been known to rub off. You’ve been warned. Stay clear. Avoid especially any of their gatherings. They tend to congregate to nurture their big ideas at CY conferences, Mission Training Days, Go Rallies and the like. You’ll recognise them immediately they open their mouths. Their wacky ideas seem to have been nurtured through some Rebuilding the Broken Walls propaganda. They talk insistently about revitalisation programmes, church planting and shedding baggage. They seem to imagine that there is a future for the RPC. Of course we would agree that the RPC has a future. It is just that we like to see it as a quaint historical society offering trips back in time. Certainly not the God centred, gospel driven, people focussed organism that the visionaries pray and plan for. Our calling, fellow “doom and gloomers” is to don our black suits and show the world that the crowned rights of King Jesus is a distant echo of the past and has little relevance for our world today. Ours is a noble calling. This denomination that has survived through centuries proclaiming the Kingship of Jesus Christ must be allowed to slip off into the oblivion of the annals of church history in a gracious dignified manner.
Bible Bits to Avoid: Isaiah 54, Psalm 22