Category Archives: Church

William Booth’s Vision (Founder of Salvation Army)

He had a vision once, William Booth. He tells the story of the time when he was travelling in a coach, and he was thinking about the millions of people in his own country, who lived in opened rebellion against God, addicted to their sin and ignoring Christ. He said that at this moment I had a vision.
“I saw a dark and stormy ocean, over the top were deep dark clouds, and the wind moaned and the waves would rise up, tower, foam, crashing down only to rise up again, and then he said I noticed in the ocean, that it was filled with millions and millions of people. Poor humans screaming, cursing, crying out, dying . Well that was until I noticed that in the middle of the ocean was a mighty rock, rising out of the ocean. All around the base of this rock I saw had been build vast platforms. I noticed with delight that a few of these poor wretches would be washed unto these platforms and climb out to safety. Then I noticed that others who had already been saved in that way, working hard on the platform with ladders, ropes, boats and any other means possible to rescue other. They would sacrifice themselves, endanger their own lives, they were entirely wrapped up in their effort to save others from the dark ocean.
But as I kept looking, I saw that there were a multitude of others, who took no part in the rescue. They were busy with all other kinds of other past times. What puzzled me though is that they themselves had been rescued at onetime, yet they seemed to show no concern for others who were perishing. And this inspite the fact that they regularly attended lectures which told of how awful it was to be unsaved, and how wonderful it was to be safe and on the rock. Some of these people were absorbed in study and business, in order to make great profits which they could store away. Others amused themselves with constant paintings, sports, music, clothing or tours around the Island. Although, those on the platform said that they would obey their Lord, They didn’t seem to hear him calling, calling to them from down in the sea to where he himself had gone.
Anyhow if they did hear him they did not feel as they had time to work with him. And I noticed something very odd indeed. Those people on the platform were always calling on Him to come to them, to make them happier, to assure them that they would never fall off the rock. To answer some doubts and troubles they had with the letters he had sent to them. Sometimes they would get together at the top of the rock and look across to the mainland where they imagined He dwelled, and cry, oh come to us, oh come and bless us please. And all this while this great being was by his spirit, among the poor, blind creatures in the angry deep. Putting his arms around people, pulling and pushing them towards the platform. And as he did so he would look up all so longingly but all so in vain. To those upon the rock, and he would cry out with his voice hoarse from crying, come and help me, come and work with me.
Then I understood. All those in the sea were those cut off from God and perishing. The rock was the cross the only place of safety and forgiveness. And on the rock people used their time and abilities in two basic ways. Either for themselves or the unsaved. They were either passengers or soldiers. My friends do not be deceived by appearances. Men and things are not what they appear to be. If they are not on the rock they are in the sea. Jesus is calling all his people to love as he loves, to see as he sees, to go down to the ocean, to put all they have at his disposal, forget your pride your love of ease, your ambitions, your love of comfort, and come down to where you are needed. We’ve had a very nice time as Christian, much fun, much joyful singing, many nice outings. Go now and tell him that you will heed his voice, and go down and spend yourselves for the perishing.
William Booth finishes up by saying, now what will you do?

YUK!

A little girl was in church with her mother when she started feeling ill. “Mummy,” she said, “can we leave now?”
“No,” her mother replied.
“Well, I think I have to throw up!”
“Then go out the front door and around to the back of the church and throw up behind a bush.”
After about 60 seconds the little girl returned to her seat.
“Did you throw up?” Mum asked.
“Yes.”
“How could you have gone all the way to the back of the church and returned so quickly?”
“I didn’t have to go out of the church, Mummy. They have a box next to the front door that says, ‘For the Sick.'”

Church Growth

Johnny’s mother looked out the window and noticed him “playing church” with their cat. The cat was sitting quietly and he was preaching to it. She smiled and went about her work. A while later she heard loud meowing and hissing and ran back To the open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub of water. She called out, “Johnny, stop that! The cat’s afraid of water!” Johnny looked up at her and said, “He should have thought about that before he joined my church.”

The Treasures Of Church

The early church had a stormy relationship with the wicked and powerful Roman government. Cycles of severe persecution interrupted by tenuous peace recurred at the whim of the emperor. Roman officials, ignorant of the actual teachings and practices of true Christians, often acted out of bigotry, fear, superstition, or misinformation. The royal court assumed that the growing Christian church operated along the same lines as their own greedy religions.
The emperor, coveting the wealth these Christians must surely possess, summoned their head bishop to the royal court and ordered him to produce “the treasures of the church.” The frustrated bishop protested that the church had no gold, jewels, or other valuables (which was indeed true at this point in history). The emperor, brushing aside the bishop’s objection, demanded that the riches of the church be brought to him in the morning. The bishop left the royal presence quietly.
The next day the bishop dutifully appeared at the palace doorway. He was empty-handed. “I told you to bring me the treasures of the church!” the emperor raged.
The bishop then invited the emperor to look out at the palace steps. Gathered together, peering sheepishly at the great doors of the royal palace rising above them, was a mass of ragged beggars, cripples, slaves, and outcasts.
“These,” said the bishop with a sweep of his arm, “are the treasures of the church.”
For his unappreciated but accurate insight, the good bishop was promptly martyred. The treasure of the church is people. The church is not a building; it is not a doctrine; it is not a program. The body of Christ is the church.

Excuses

If you took the same excuses that people use for not going to church and apply them to other important areas of life you’d realize how inconsistent we can be in our logic. For example: Reasons Not To Wash
1. I was forced to as a child. 2. People who make soap are only after your money. 3. I wash on special occasions like Christmas and Easter. 4. People who wash are hypocrites-they think they are cleaner than everyone else. 5. There are so many different kinds of soap, I can’t decide which one is best. 6. I used to wash, but it got boring so I stopped. 7. None of my friends wash. 8. The bathroom is never warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer. 9. I’ll start washing when I get older and dirtier. 10. I can’t spare the time

We Are Responsible For A Dead Church

Some years ago, a new pastor was called to a spiritually dead church in a small Oklahoma town. The pastor spent the first week calling on as many members as possible, inviting them to the first Sunday service. But the effort failed. In spite of many calls, not a single member showed up for worship! So the pastor placed a notice in the local paper stating that since the church was dead, the pastor was going to give it a decent, Christian burial. The funeral for the church would be held at 2 p.m. on the following Sunday.
Morbidly curious, the whole town turned out for the “funeral.” In front of the pulpit, there was a large casket, smothered in flowers. After the eulogy was given, the pastor invited the congregation to come forward and pay their respects to the dead church. The long line of mourners filed by. Each one peered curiously into the open casket, and then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look. For inside the casket, tilted at just the right angle was a large mirror. Each one saw his own reflection in the mirror as perhaps never before!
That is still what happens when human beings allow the living Christ to confront them in their sinful brokenness. This special day calls us to make a choice to receive God’s Christ, and to let our lives be made whole again by the power of God. As you begin this Holy Week, can you truly say in your heart, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” The choice is up to you!
Robert A. Beringer, Turning Points, CSS Publishing Company, 1995.

Light The Church

Several centuries ago in a mountain village in Europe, a wealthy nobleman wondered what legacy he should leave to his townspeople. He made a good decision. He decided to build them a church. No one was permitted to see the plans or the inside of the church until it was finished. At its grand opening, the people gathered and marveled at the beauty of the new church. Everything had been thought of and included. It was a masterpiece. But then someone said, “Wait a minute! Where are the lamps? It is really quite dark in here. How will the church be lighted?” The nobleman pointed to some brackets in the walls, and then he gave each family a lamp, which they were to bring with them each time they came to worship. “Each time you are here'” the nobleman said, “the place where you are seated will be lighted. Each time you are not here, that place will be dark. This is to remind you that whenever you fail to come to church, some part of God’s house will be dark”
From the Sermon Fodder Email List

Quecreek Miners Kept Each Other Alive

In what the news called “The Miracle at Quecreek,” nine miners trapped for three days 240 feet underground in a water-filled mine shaft “decided early on they were either going to live or die as a group.”

The 55 degree (Fahrenheit) water threatened to kill them slowly by hypothermia, so according to one news report “When one would get cold, the other eight would huddle around the person and warm that person, and when another person got cold, the favor was returned.”

“Everybody had strong moments,” miner Harry B. Mayhugh told reporters after being released from Somerset Hospital in Somerset. “But any certain time maybe one guy got down, and then the rest pulled together. And then that guy would get back up, and maybe someone else would feel a little weaker, but it was a team effort. That’s the only way it could have been.”

They faced incredibly hostile conditions together–and they all came out alive together.

What a picture of the body of Christ.

Quoted from Preaching Today Email list

Boy George

Singer Boy George said, “On Sunday I attended the christening of my year-old godson Michael, and he was as restless as everyone else. The priest was a lovely man with impeccable dress sense, but I was confused from the moment he took the pulpit. Most of us only ever go to church for weddings and funerals, so sticking to the Book is pointless…and what’s the point of rattling on about sin when most of us are doomed to eternal damnation? It doesn’t warm people to Christianity, it only makes them feel like hypocrites. Worse still are the utterly depressing hymns. I’d like to see live music, acoustic guitars, and percussion. Church should be a joyous and liberating experience–[it] badly needs a facelift because it is God’s theatre on earth, and he should be packing them in.”

Boy George, London’s Daily Mail, Feb. 23, 2000

Now Go And Do It

A congregation turned up one Sunday morning to find the church barred and bolted at the normal service time. On the door of the church was pinned a note in the Vicar’s handwriting. It read “You have head about it long enough, now go and do it.”