I have a list of things that really get next to me. I mean these things just chap my hide, rip my gizzard and generally hack me off. Everyone probably has a list like this. Ever’ once in a while, it’s good to blow off a little steam, so here are some things that are on my hit list.
(1) Church Fundraisers The Lord’s got a plan for financing His church and her ministries. That plan don’t include selling donuts, having spaghetti suppers, holding car washes and rafflin’ off the family dog. God’s plan is called the “open your wallet and give cheerfully” plan. Church members ought to tithe and give above the tithe for special things. If the young’uns want to go on a trip, the church ought to be able to take care of it, instead of sendin’ them traipsin’ up and down the streets sellin’ junk that nobody wants to buy anyway. Why, if ever’body in every church just tithed, the church would have to hold special meetin’s just to figure out how to use all the extra money for the Lord’s work.
(2) Unfaithful Church Workers The sorry way in which elected workers treat the Lord’s work is a shame. I’ve seen Sunday School teachers not show up and never tell ‘nary a soul they weren’t coming. I’ve seen committees elected to take care of important business (any business for the Lord is important) and never hold the first meetin’. If they performed on their money payin’ job the way they work for the church, they would be fired before noon on Monday. The Lord’s work is not second rate.
(3) Stingy Church Treasurers Let me explainify. I’m talkin’ about treasurers who treat the church’s money as their own private stash. In one church I pastored, the treasurer had a coniption every time the church voted to spend a penny. The church once voted to spend $50.00 on needed supplies. When I went to the money man for a check, he balked, turned red in the face, wrote the check and threw it at me. I considered givin’ him a holy slap, but declined. The church voted to spend that money. Well, he later resigned and we commenced with spendin’.
(4) Dead Preachin’ Nothing is harder to endure than dead preachin’. Old Brother E. M. Bounds used to say, “Dead men preach dead sermons, and dead sermons kill.” I know a preacher who literally puts the congregation to sleep. His people say church is where they get their best nap. Late one night, one of his members couldn’t get to sleep, so she called up this preacher and asked him to give her a little devotion on the phone. She was snoozin’ in no time. Now, I know what your thinkin’, and No, the preacher don’t have to rant, rave, yell, stomp, snort and foam at the mouth to give some good preachin’. Ever’body’s different. But every preacher ought to be excited and enthusiastic about his message. And folks can tell if you ain’t.
Joseph Harris is the Vice President of Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, MS. (This article may be reprinted in whole, as long as the name Joseph Harris and www.miniedition.net also appear.)