Sunday, April 29, 2007


The church is in actuality the marvelously true body of Christ roaming earth. If we note Jesus' walk when here, we'll get a pattern for us now. The pattern is not worship style for Jesus spent little time on such a topic. Neither is the pattern church organization.....if you follow Jesus. His pattern was always one main thing....people.

People touching people in ministry will turn a congregation around. Specifically people with ailments and issues need to be accepted by the present-day Jesus. He pleaded with us to avoid greeting our brothers only. Many churches remain strong on doctrinal opinion, yet completely and fearfully distant to actually touching the hurting in the community. Their practice is to do-church-right which includes criticizing those whom they are certain do-church-wrong.

Several matters turned Memorial upside down in an enormously favorable way. The strongest is the increasing action of welcoming and ministering to the ignored and hurting underdogs (people). We make effort to house some of the homeless. One one Sunday morning a couple of years back we had a wedding ceremony just after the invitation song for a couple who had been living in their truck. The sweet groom wore a single bloom in the pocket of his navy blue t-shirt. One member baked them a small wedding cake and the couple sat on the front pew following the ceremony and stared in awe at "their" wedding cake. We eventually baptized both and I expect to hug them again in just about an hour on this Sunday morning.

I did a wedding for a street couple who was certain they'd have a crowd at their ceremony. They knocked on my door telling me a preacher was going to charge them a lot of money to do their wedding and would I do it for $10. I told them, No, I can't do it for $10....but I can do it if you'll let me pay you $40. They had nothing. Her dress must have come from a Klothes Kloset of sort. It didn't fit. He was dressed in jeans a couple of sizes too small, misfitting hand-me-down shoes, and a plain shirt. Only one witness showed up for their event...and no one else. It was a touching ceremony. I paid them $40 to do their wedding.

Last Sunday morning a couple visiting for the third Sunday in a row sat on the front pew in response to the invitation. He was recently released from prison. Both arms are tattooed so much they appear to be sleeves. We swarmed them! They came to us through the food pantry. They are working little jobs and various members are keeping them supplied in food and driving them to jobs.

If you want to know of some move which might encourage your congregation may I point out there were those who were absorbed in proper doctrine and they were the ones who sent Jesus to the cross. While they baited their religious traps, he moved about touching the untouchables. Nothing has changed. We are the body of! May we see the people around us who aren't like us and treat them the way Jesus did. This real doctrine of his....people....will transform a congregation.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Terry. When we love people with no strings attached, amazing things happen. They may not be the amazing things we would ask for ... they will be better.

Norsemanrm said...

Great post my friend!
I love what you said and the memories of the examples you gave.
Jesus was about PEOPLE...Lord let us be like you.
And I also love John's response.
It's so true that the amazing things that He brings about are so much better then what we could ever think up ourselves.
Sounds a lot like Eph.3:20...Amazing!

Stoogelover said...

Outstanding! Great reminder of what we're really all about.

Anonymous said...

I loved your post. It reminds me about a story told about my grandfather at his funeral. He was a lay minister for the Methodist Church starting from about the age of 50 or more. He would preach at two or three small country congregations in Arkansas - sort of like the old circuit rider days. There was a man who wanted to come to church but was embarrassed because he didn't have any nice clothes to wear (this is obviously before the days of "come as you are" services). My grandpa told him if he would come, he would also dress in overalls to preach his sermon so that the man would feel comfortable. I don't know if the man took him up on it, but I know my grandpa would have done it. That's the kind of man he was. Thanks for sparking that memory for me! BTW, I'm from UCC in Conway (although currently living in Armenia) and linked to your site from Dusty's.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 25.40
Great post! Jesus is being lifted up in His body there.
God Bless. Keep it up!
Larry Wishard

Anonymous said...

Terry, let me add to the "great post" comments you have already received. I got teary-eyed when I read you paid to do the ceremony for those two people -- GREAT MOVE!

I have been reading Max Lucado's book "It's not about me" and feel that those whose "practice is to do-church-right which includes criticizing those whom they are certain do-church-wrong" need to realize that life is about GOD, not about them.

Thanks for the post, I needed it to start off my week.

JD said...

I'm using this as the article in our bulletin this coming Sunday. We need to soak in this message.

Jack said...

Hey Terry,
Wonderful article here. Don't know if you remember me, but it doesn't matter... the big thing is that we are known and loved by God our Father in Jesus. WOW... so grateful for His big grace.
It really makes a lot of sence what you are saying here. We have too long thought that because we have a baptistry and no piano, that the world will run to iur buildings.... what a shock.... no one did. But just reach our to the lost, the down trodden, the under dog, and let Jesus touch them, through His body, and it changes not only them, but it changes us.
Keep up the good work.
Love's prayers,
Jack Exum Jr.