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A Block Party not a Restaurant

May 16, 2008

After the birth of Olivia, the week off, and major sound equipment devastation at church, I’ve got a number of things to write about in the coming days.  However, I’m going to start with something of a thought from a couple of weeks ago.

I was listening to someone’s tale of another church drama, politic, angry people thing, you know they all seem to be the same story after a while.  You’ve got one too if you’ve been in church for any length of time.  The main reason is that the church has people in it, they are the Church.  People have problems, oddities, imaturities, and the like.  I happen to be a card carrying member.  So, the issue is not that we have problems, it is how we handle them.

I had this thought in the midst of that conversation.  The church should be like a block party not a restaurant.  At a block party,  everyone contributes in some fashion either by attending, bringing food, haning out.  No pretense here, just come because you are my neighbor.  We invite the new folks from down the street and make sure we carry plates to the old folks one street over.  I share my baked beans, you smile and eat even though they are a little cold.  I grin and share stories with you and we all clean up at the end of the day.

At a restaurant, people pick thier favorite place to eat because it has what they like.  If they been there a few times they tend to like the same seat.  When they order they expect it to be the same or better than last time and prepared to thier exact specifications, no room for error here.  If it’s not to taste or takes to long, then they’re angry and my refuse to spend thier money.  They might complain or make a scene and leave, never to return, but tell all of thier friends how bad a place it is. (I purposely used “thier and they” because it would never be me or you would it?)

Seriously, it’s a pretty good analogy isn’t it?  Just food for fun but serious thought.

  1. Mike permalink

    I think this is a great analogy. To add a supporting concept: In a restaurant, we expect to BE SERVED by the people who work their instead of coming TO SERVE. The majority of church goers seem to come to be served, and like in a restaurant they have no problem complaining when everything isn’t exactly to their liking. They expect everything from the service times, the music selection, the volume, the length of time they have to stand, the sermon content, to the time it’s all over to be to their exact preference. And don’t them to do anything. As if they’re doing the church some service by just attending. At a block party, as you said, we all pitch in and have entirely different expectations. We don’t come to be served, but to have fellowship, to chip in and enjoy being a part of a community.

    In the body of Christ, we are all called to serve, but I think the last time I heard a statistic on the subject, all the work in an average church is done typically by only 10 to 20 percent of the people who regularly attend. That leaves 80-90 percent who do not serve the body.

    Great analogy!

  2. omegachip permalink

    Wow! Dude, that’s an awesome analogy … and a call to action. So, let’s start having a block party! Everybody has a little bit to bring to the party, some are great cooks, some are good storytellers, some are good at making sure everybody else is having a good time. We also need to make sure everyone in the neighborhood gets invited! You know how people get when they find out you had a party and they weren’t invited.

  3. Sarah permalink

    parties are more fun than restuarants

  4. Sarah permalink

    and i cant spell restaurants apparently

  5. Nancy permalink

    In the middle of a church situation, more stealthy than dramatic, this analogy has really shed some light and a huge amount of peace in our hearts! God has been using these blogs to minister to us and others as we share them, and is reducing the enemy’s foothold in the situation. We’re thanking Him for all of you and for giving us an address on your block.
    Let’s remember to go by the restaurants and pick up the folks and get them to the party!

    Thanks for the blog ministry and supernatural hugs !

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