I didn’t really feel like being there, but three of my grandchildren were involved. Since grandparents do things that may not make sense to others, “Grammy” and I were both there. We only stayed for a short time, but, in that short time, I saw something interesting (besides my grandchildren).
There were about three thousand young people from seven states gathered to participate in a Bible Bowl. It was very interesting to me that this event took place in a venue in which a state university usually hosts basketball games.
On this day, something much more important than basketball was taking place. Young people were assembled to hone their skills concerning God’s Word. I loved that the man in charge announced the winners before the event began. He made sure that all those who participated were winners. It didn’t matter where they “finished” that day.
However, there was one minor problem at the beginning. An announcement was made concerning the need for volunteers. It seems that the event lacked some of the personnel needed to make sure all the records were kept properly.
In a fairly short time, some people made their ways to the appropriate location. We still weren’t ready to start, though.
Another announcement was made. One more volunteer was needed.
It seemed as though this took a little longer than the last time. Finally, a young lady made her way across the floor of the arena. The applause began as she started making her way to join the others and continued for her entire walk.
As I watched that from way up in the nosebleed section, I thought that what I was witnessing was a lot like life in general. There seem to be many people–even in the church–who will applaud others when they get involved, but who, at the same time, are unwilling themselves to get involved.
At times, of course, these people do not applaud. They are more than willing to criticize if things do not go the way they should.
On September 10, 1910, president Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech in France. In that speech, he said the following words which I hope will serve as a challenge to all of us:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
As I watched the young lady walking across the floor and as I heard the applause, I thought of my life. Specifically, I wondered how the Lord views my life.
Am I content to only “cheer on” those involved in His cause?
Am I one who, when work needs to be done, rolls up his sleeves and does all that can be done to serve the One who gave His life for me?
How about you? Are you sitting in the stands or walking across the floor?
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22, ESV)
SOURCE: Know Your Bible by Frank J. Dunn, page vi.
For pretty much my whole life, I have heard people fuss about what to wear to Sunday worship. I trust that this one blog article will not settle things, but I do want us all to think through some of the more common “arguments,” and see if they are really helpful.
Regularly, I hear people say that we should wear our best to worship. Often, this is followed by some story of a grandparent or uncle who “only had one pair of overalls, but he would wash those things and wear them every Sunday, because they were the best he had.”
I think there is some validity to wearing our best, but may I throw a monkey wrench in the argument? How many people who hold to this idea do not really follow their own rule?
For example, I know a lot of ladies who say that we should wear our ” very best” every Sunday, but their wedding dress is in a closet or an attic. Isn’t that gorgeous gown their “best”? Isn’t it “better” than the dresses they choose each Sunday?
Further, if we are to wear our “very best,” wouldn’t that imply that we wear the same outfit each week, since it is impossible to have two or three or four “very best” outfits?
I know that’s not the heart behind this side of the argument, but if we are going to argue that we need to wear our “best,” that is what we are actually saying.
On the other hand, there are people who dress very casually for worship, though they have nicer clothing, and then justify it by saying, “God sees my heart. He doesn’t care about the outside.”
Now, it is certainly true that God sees our heart. He knows it perfectly; in reality, He knows our heart better than we ourselves do. Scripture regularly teaches us to guard our heart and to make certain that what is on our “inside” is pure.
But does that mean that God has no concern whatsoever for what is on the outside? Of course not! What we do on the outside is a reflection of what is in our heart. (If it isn’t, we are being hypocritical.)
To intentionally dress casually for worship says something. It does speak, whether we want it to or not, about how we feel about worship. But is worship casual? Is it something that is just routine? Is coming before the Almighty Creator just another activity to be checked off our casual to-do list each week?
So, if it isn’t wearing your best and if it isn’t casual, what is it?
First, let me say that there is no verse of Scripture that mandates what we are to wear each Lord’s Day. It may be appropriate to wear a coat and tie in America and it may be completely inappropriate in some other culture in the world where coats and ties are virtually unknown.
However, should we not seek to show respect when we come to worship? That one concept may solve the issue.
If I dress “to the nines,” is it because I am wanting to honor God, or because I want people to compliment me on my new outfit or jewelry? Remember, it was being overdressed and ostentatious that was condemned as immodest in 1 Timothy 2:8-10. Showing off our wealth or status is not respectful in a setting where the glory is to go only to God.
However, if I “dress down” for worship, is that respectful of my Creator? Is that not saying that I treat this all-important time of the week as just another routine or as not worthy of any sort of preparation?
Personally, I do believe we should dress well for worship, but we may not be able to wear our absolute best outfit week after week. Instead, we need to realize that we are coming into the presence of a holy God at His invitation. That deserves respect.
To some, that may mean wearing the only pair of jeans in your closet that are not stained from the waist to the cuffs. For others, it may mean a dress that’s a little out of fashion, but still is modest and clean. To others, it might mean a bowtie and suitcoat.
The point is: it comes down to an attitude of respect for the Lord. I want to dress in a way that shows that I am taking worship as a respectful time; not as a time to show off, and not as a time that is just mundane and ordinary. God is worthy of my respect, and that does display itself in how I choose to dress.
As I said, I’m certain this article won’t change everyone’s mind. You may totally disagree. In fact, you may think this was a waste of almost 900 words. But worship is the most important thing we do each week, and is always worth our time, to make sure we are treating that time in the same way our Lord does. To that end, I pray this post has been helpful.
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn
According to many social media outlets, books, magazine articles, speeches, sermons, etc., it’s all about the millennials. How are we going to relate to them? How can they be won to Christ? How can they be integrated into the work of the local church? How may we use their talents to further the cause of Christ worldwide?
Contrary to what some might think as they read that paragraph, this is not being written by some old codger who has no use for anybody younger than he is. I must plead guilty to being “of an advanced age.” I will not plead guilty, though, to harboring resentment for younger people merely because they are younger.
After all, I remember when my generation’s wardrobe, music, and tastes were questioned and sometimes openly attacked by those who were older. What on earth could they have had against Nehru Jackets, love beads, mood rings, and the like? So what if we didn’t share their enthusiasm for Glenn Miller, the McGuire Sisters, and others? Did all of that make us bad people?
I may not understand all that the millennials are about, but I can honestly say that there are many good things to be said about them. Like my generation (when we were their age and now that we are our age) there will always be room for improvement.
At the same time, let me express my deep, deep love for another group that I fear may get overlooked way too often. This group is not made up of individuals of one particular generation. There are people of all ages in this group.
I love those perennials.
You know the ones I’m talking about, don’t you? They are the ones upon whom you can depend. They are reliable. They are steady. They are “always there” when they need to be.
I fear that, in an effort to serve or appease one particular group, these perennials are either forgotten or feel like they are forgotten. That is so sad to me because, in many cases, it is the perennials who have helped a particular congregation maintain its viability during the years. In some cases, it is their effort, their prayers, and their finances that are keeping the work going now.
How about a novel idea? Why don’t we all – boomers, busters, generation x, generation y, millennials, and whatever else I’ve left out – all relate to one another and truly develop hearts of servants.
In other words, why don’t we all purpose to be perennials?
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor. 15:58, ESV)
(Player not displaying or working? Click here.)
Many people–and, it seems, especially mothers–talk about “me time.” A couple of years ago, a blogger wrote a powerful article about how having true “me time” as a mother is a myth. She took a lot of heat for the article, but it sparked some good discussion.
On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about the article [which you can find here] and about how mothers need a little “me time,” but how the ideal of this concept is really a myth for mothers who truly want to impact their children.
“The ‘Me Time’ Myth” [Your Mom Has a Blog]
To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.
It’s on almost every congregation’s “privilege list” I’ve ever seen. Lots of people sign up to perform this weekly duty because (let’s be honest) it doesn’t take a lot of time out of our schedules during the week. It’s a relatively easy job which simply requires that you arrive at services before everyone else begins arriving.
Now don’t get me wrong…it’s a very important task which needs to be taken seriously. Meeting people at the door with a smile on your face and a warm greeting is very valuable, especially to those who may be visiting for the first time. Handing those who enter a bulletin and directing them to a class can make a difference as to whether or not they will return to your services.
I was talking this last week with someone who had served as a “greeter” (less than a thousand miles from me) and she gave me some things to think about. She discussed it from the perspective of the greeter. Here are some of the things she noticed (and a few I have noticed when performing this task):
The greeter who talked with me caused me to think about my behavior when I come to worship God. She was there for a special purpose – to help me feel welcome as I enter into the fellowship of those who have come together for the very special purpose of offering worship to God.
We all need to spend some time thinking about one very important fact…God needs to be glorified when I am a greeter and when I am being greeted.
Last Wednesday, we released review sheets to help teach the book of Ruth to your children. [Find out more here.] We also promised, though, that something else was coming this Wednesday.
So today, we are pleased to let you know that we have review sheets for another book of the Bible ready to release, and it is the wonderful book of Esther.
As with our sheets on Matthew and Ruth, these sheets each contain about 10 questions directly from the text, 3 or 4 discussion questions, and a memory verse. Also, as with the other sheets, these were created during little snippets of time, so we are certain you’ll find some typos. We apologize, but hey, we’re busy folks!
We hope these sheets help you teach this wonderful story of God’s providence! To access the sheets, click this link or the picture below.
Also, to find all our free printable resources visit our store by following this link.
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn