Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wreck the Roof

This recent article in Leadership Journal really struck a chord with me. It is about being willing to be like the friends in Mark 2, and I'll excerpt the article here:

"Jesus is speaking inside a house, and "some men" bring a paralyzed man to the place, carried by four of them. They're trying to get their friend to Jesus. But a crowd knots the door, creates a barricade of backs. There's no getting past them to reach Jesus. So the men take the building apart. They rip open the roof and lower their friend through the hole. Jesus, seeing their faith (these are some men), forgives the paralyzed man, and then heals him.

And, of course, controversy breaks out among the religious folk."

Imagine that. The religious folk don't like the friends interrupting their service to bring the paralyzed man to Jesus. I can't even imagine such a scene in today's world. *sarcasm alert*
I mean our churches all bend over backwards to help those unlike us get to the fount of healing that is Jesus Christ. We structure our programs, services and activities to maximize the opportunity for people to come in off the street an join us in worshiping the God of Creation. Really, it is all about them and getting them to the Lord. Our needs, wants and preferences are all secondary and have no bearing on how we do church. *end sarcasm alert*

The author calls this "Roof Tile Syndrome." Picking up again in the article :
"Roof-tile Syndrome is when we are so caught up in the preaching of Jesus, we turn our backs to the needs of those still outside the building. We become barriers and not gateways. It's when we care more about keeping things intact than about restoring lives that are shattered. It's when we're more upset when stuff gets broken than excited when the broken are mended. It's when church gets reduced to the preaching of Jesus so that we fail to notice that we're seeing very little of the forgiveness and healing of Jesus. It is when we are so fearful about upsetting the religious folk (or homeowners) in our midst that we stop taking risks to get people to Jesus.

It's when my program, my office, my title, my privilege, my influence, my comfort takes precedence over others' needs.

It's when the church exists for itself; to hell with the rest of you."

It's easy for me to criticize. I am not a pastor. I don't run a church. The church I attend doesn't own its own building or roof tiles. But that still doesn't stop those words from cutting right into my soul and showing me how my actions hinder others from knowing the Lord. And as my move into ministry continues, I pray that I never lose that sensitivity to making church as accessible as possible to the lost and hurting. God help me.

1 comment:

Rick said...

good stuff...Just a word of caution from one who has taken hit after hit, be sensitive to how you talk about the "outsider." There will be those sitting in the crowd who don't associate with the same "outsider" thinking as you and I. I was "shotdown," in a sense, when I did not include elderly, handicap, the family, in my message even though that was not my intent to leave out any sect, rather point to a crowd that the church turns their back on. I see where you are going, but I just wanted to pass that along, as if it will really matter anyway! hahaha