I was sitting in a local “meat and three” waiting on a group to gather for a breakfast conversation about ministry and reaching our city. As I was waiting, I was catching up on some phone calls and my good friend Joe Dillon mentioned “business as usual” in most churches and spoke of “Mildew on steeples, Pot holes in parking lots, and shag carpet in the sanctuary.” That stirred up all kinds of images in my mind, from controversial business meetings in church over trivial pursuits to undue focus on things that seemed urgent, but distracted from the essential.
Jesus Once spoke of blind guides that “strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matt. 23). We all remember He got angry and overturned the tables in the temple where they were buying and selling. Have you ever thought why?
Remember he said, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.” It is a quote from Isaiah, and only one of the Gospels includes it all. My house will be called a house of prayer for the nations. The money changers had blocked the “Court of the Gentiles” with their clutter. It was the only place in the temple where the “nations” (gentiles) could approach God.
When we get caught up in trivial pursuits, we miss our “Father’s heart”. Jesus told us that the fields are white unto harvest and the laborers are few. When 1.7 billion people have no access to the Gospel, and no knowledge that there is a Savior, do you think God is concerned about “mildew on the steeple” or the color of our carpet, or for that matter whether we sing hymns or choruses? He desires heart felt worship, that issues in mission.
It was a refreshing discussion that broke out when the group finally gathered at the breakfast table to strategize on reaching our city for Christ. It was a “God-moment” that just happened. Three of us had planned to meet to discuss a discipleship process, but 7 showed up and so did God.