The “Blinky” Milk Face of Religion

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Trying to find volunteers for church positions is often like asking someone to volunteer to drink the milk to see if it’s spoiled (or blinky as we called it as children). I’ve often times been given the same face. I’m not blowing my own horn, just stating a fact, that for 20 years I have taught youth classes. It’s honestly been one of my greatest joys. And I can certainly hear folks say “Well Shari, I just don’t enjoy it, it’s a lot of additional work in my life.” Yep. Sure is. But let’s talk the future of the Kingdom of God.

The Lacking of Faith

Paul ask the Thessalonians in Chapter 3:9-10 of 1 Thessalonians

[9] For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; [10] Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

To Shari quote it “How can I thank God for the opportunity to serve you, see you and help you grow in the Lord?”

Does it sound like he was more than a little excited?! I totally get it. No greater time do I have than when I’m in the teen department listening to them ask and answer questions about scripture, all the while giggling over something totally silly. I also get when 20 minutes before I leave, I’m exhausted from a day at work for which my brain says, “Stay home Shari, you need rest.” I get that it’s additional work on top of already hectic lives or that you’ve already done your tour of duty. (Remember 20 years) Oh… but the joy!

The pure joy in knowing that you’ve helped a child to grow in his or her faith. That you’ve allowed them to see the joy of the Lord. Not the “blinky milk face of religion.” Those who see no need to volunteer in the church are part of the cause of a lack of faith in the church. Those who think Sunday School and Wednesday Night Bible Study aren’t necessary are those who cause a lack of faith in their own lives. Every time I study, whether it be for myself, my ministry or the classes I teach, I learn something new. I learn something that helps me be a better person, and boy o boy does this world need better people!

If you are struggling with life, for what ever reason, I can almost guarantee you aren’t getting enough gospel. I haven’t been feeling the best lately and it wasn’t until this morning, when I knew it was about time to get my prescriptions filled, that I realized I had missed 6 morning doses of my medicines this month (which are many pills). Yea, that probably has something to do with me not feeling well. But the same holds true if you’re not fueling your spirit with the word of God and the fellowship of the saints. It causes a lack of faith when you need it the most.

A Lack of Love

Paul prayed that God would lead them to His people:

 [11] Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. [12] And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: [13] To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

He did so because of his great love for the children of God and his concern for their souls. It begs the question: “How concerned are you for your people.” God has placed people in our lives, in our path, to edify our souls, that we may be “Unblameable before God.” Because of a lack of love, and a lack of faith, there’s going to be plenty of blame to go around.

Last night I had 6 teens in my class. I was grateful for those six souls!!! But I couldn’t help feeling great sorrow for the teens who never experience church in the way those six did last night. In just one short hour I watched human relationships grow in the Lord, and grow into adulthood.

Several months ago the teens painted a slogan on the wall of their class room that says “You gotta Grow up!” It’s from 1 Corinthians 13:11

[11] When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

In so many ways the kids in my class are more spiritually mature than many adults. And yet… they giggle like children because they are. They also make me giggle. Oh the joy!

The teens don’t always get along. They have days when they get on each other’s nerves, much like the adults. They’re not all on the same level spiritually. Some have barely stepped into the water of faith. It’s often easy for the churched kids to be “shocked” that an unchurched kid doesn’t know the basic spiritual truths. I wish they’d known me at 34 years of age. I knew nothing! But it’s always a good lesson to remind them that it’s okay not to know so long as you’re willing to learn. They also need to know it’s the responsibility of those of us who do know to shine the light into the lives of those who don’t. And to never, never, ever, give someone the blinky milk face because they don’t understand the word of God.

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Shari Johnson. (aka The Jesus Chick) has been encouraging women of faith and youth for a closer walk with Christ for over ten years. Having a burden for the leadership in American Churches, much of her writing is meant to spear on the servant of God to do more for the cause of Christ in these uncertain times. With humor, transparency and solid bible teaching Shari outlines messages that are easily understood, life applicable, and often with easily remembered points to ponder in hopes that they’ll be reflected on throughout the day and serve as encouragement on the go. Her servant’s heart is grounded in her own local church believing that it is there that the greatest impact can be made and unfortunately suffers the greatest neglect across America. Shari speaks at women’s gatherings in hopes of leaving a giggle in their soul and a burning desire to serve in their own local body of believers having it said of her “I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn to the foot of the cross…” Which is what it’s all about. For information on scheduling Shari, call her direct at (304)377-6036, message her via email at talk2shari@gmail.com or find her on Facebook!

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