I recently had a conversation with a brother in the faith that took an interesting twist. My friend recently had a conversation in which the other person was relating why he and his wife left our church. He told him that they left our church because a deacon served the Lord’s Supper…while wearing blue jeans.
Now I was not surprised by this. I knew the individual who made the statement. If I could pick three people who would say something like that…this individual would be on the list.
One thing it made me do…was think. It made me think about why I completely disagree with that preference. And it is a preference.
There are those who are very traditional in their view of how the ordinances of the church are to be administered. I understand it. I respect it.
Many of us were raised on the traditions of the church. We were always taught that we dress our best on Sunday. The reason was always that we give our best to The Lord…
I get that. I really do. But have we ever really stopped to ask ourselves why it is that we stick blindly to those traditions that we grew up with? The truth is…if we truly believe something, we need to understand why we believe it. Trust me, the next generation will not simply accept “because we have always done it that way” as a legitimate answer. If we do not understand why we believe what we believe, how do we think we will ever convince anyone else of what we believe?
I really think those among us who are stuck in neutral when it comes to how we “do church”, are missing some things that shift the paradigm of how we see church as a whole.
The Bible does tell us that we are to “give our best” to the Lord. However, Jesus himself also taught about how we are to treat people who are not dressed as nicely and who cannot do anything for us. We are to show no preference to anyone. We are not to be a “respecter of persons”.
What did Jesus wear when He instituted the Lord’s Supper? That’s right…His everyday robe. There were no special robes that were to be worn when Jesus administered the first Lord’s Supper. Pretty good indication that He really didn’t care about that aspect of the procedure.
Somewhere along the way, I fear that we have lost perspective on what it is we are actually trying to accomplish. The mission of the church is threefold.
1) Create a haven and a refuge for the saints where they can minister to and comfort one another and build one another up.
2) To equip the saint for ministry and outreach to the community around them. For some this may extend across borders to other parts of the world.
3) To bring glory to God in all they do.
If we can put aside the petty things that do not really matter when it comes to building the Kingdom…perhaps we can focus on the message and the mission that we are called to. It is the effectiveness of ministry that matters. May we be effective for Jesus.