Category Archives: Baptist

A Labor Of Love

northwood-home-makeover

My husband and I participated in this last year and it was great.  Unfortunately we were not able to participate this year but plan on joining in again next year.  It is truly a labor of love.

A group of volunteers gave four Haltom City homes a makeover. In just 24 hours, some 1,600 volunteers completed home renovations for the much-deserving families.

The home makeovers come courtesy of the NorthWood Church in Keller. This is the third year that NorthWood has provided home makeovers for families in Haltom City.

The families being helped were all selected based on their need. “There’s something about the time frame and the urgency of it that makes it that much more,” said volunteer Andy Wallace.

Those involved with the project say the renovation isn’t only for the homes, but the soul as well. “God said, ‘Go out and help the needy and the poor’, so what better way to come out and serve the Lord than to help these folks out?” Wallace asked.

The makeovers include painting, replacing flooring, landscaping, decorating, new furniture and decorative items, appliance replacement or repair and other things you would expect.  This year mini-makeovers were added for the houses on the streets where the home makeovers were taking place.  The mini-makeovers included yard work, exterior painting and other small jobs.

The teams start working on Friday afternoon and work through the night and into Saturday.  The big reveal happens about 5PM that Saturday.

Be sure and click on the picture above to see CBS coverage.

Advertisements

Is Professional Ministry A Help Or A Hindrance To The Church?

959691014_0cc8bf0d94

There’s a good post and discussion going on over at Baptimergent  regarding professional ministry.  You can find the post here.  Here’s my response: 

I’ll start out with a couple of disclaimers – I am not and have never been in full time paid ministry and I do not believe that it is “wrong” for pastors to be paid a salary.

Even though I do not think it is wrong for pastors to be paid a salary I do not think that it is the best way for the church to operate. I think that it causes the church to have to be managed like a business, the congregation to have an unhealthy dependence on the paid staff of a church and tends to silent prophetic proclamation. I know many wonderful people who earn their living by being on staff at churches but I think the system needs to be dismantled.

Many of the comments I hear  talk about “all the things” that a pastor has to do. IMO all of those things should be shared by those who are members of the community. The problem is that the present system causes the members of the community to believe that the pastor should be doing those things because he is paid and the pastor to believe that he should be doing all those things because he is being compensated. Perhaps one reason most Christian’s are unaware of what spiritual gifts are bestowed upon them is because the system we have created implies that “the working body” of the church is made up of a few people who are on staff.

I know they are far and few between, but, there are groups of Christians meeting in the world without a paid staff and where the work of ministry is done by everyone in the group. So …  it is possible to do it differently.

In addition, it appears to me that a lot of “the things that have to be done” in churches today are things that have to be done to keep “the system” running and “the system” seems to resemble a country club a lot of times with all of it’s internal programs and activities.

I am always hearing that there is a problem these days getting college aged and young adults to attend/get involved in a local church but they aren’t the only ones. Many middle aged and older adults, like myself, who have devoted most of their lives to “the church” are leaving the church (if not physically, then emotionally) because it has become more of a hindrance than a help in our spiritual journey.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words – SBC kicks out gay friendly church

437384421_0e216c1a1eLove Loud: Actions Speak Louder Than Words is the Southern Baptist Convention’s theme this year.

I find the theme ironic in light of their recent decision to expel Broadway Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas from the SBC due to the fact that Broadway (in their opinion) did not put enough effort into opposing homosexuality.

Back in 2007 Broadway Baptist was preparing to celebrate its 125th birthday and part of that celebration was to include a church pictorial directory that would include yearbook style photos of its members and families.  A problem arose when some gay couples (I think it was three gay couples) asked to have their pictures included.  It quickly became a divisive struggle as the church began to disagree as to whether allowing the gay couples’ photos to appear in the directory would be an endorsement of homosexuality.  After much debate and a vote, it was decided that no family photos would be used – instead group photos would be taken and published in the directory.  The issue led to a lot of conflict within the church and eventually to a motion before the SBC to disassociate from Broadway.

There was no evidence that the church endorsed or affirmed homosexuality but the SBC eventually decided that there was a lack of active opposition (like asking gay persons to resign from their volunteer positions and offering some sort of restorative ministry for gays) and voted to oust Broadway Baptist after a 127 year relationship with them.

I remember when I first heard about the directory issue at Broadway – I was disappointed that it was an issue, after all, they weren’t worried about including pictures of gossips, gluttons, adulterers, thieves, liars, drug users, unwed mothers, divorced people or even straight people who didn’t think homosexual relationships were sinful – they were only concerned about including pictures of gay couples, and I was disappointed that they ended up with the “no family photos” decision.  I thought it was a poor attempt in demonstrating the love of Jesus.  But now that they have been ousted by the SBC I feel a little better about their “small step for gaykind”.  I still think it is sort of lame that Christians can shock the world so easily by displaying a little tolerance – I really think we should be shocking the world with an extravagant and generous love – but I think the attention this church has received over this issue is going to help in the long run.  So, as sad as I am that there are still so many who think God’s mission is to keep openly gay people from serving in the Kingdom of God and from being recognized members of the body of Christ, I am hopeful because of those who are slowly standing up against that kind of mindset and I am thankful that Broadway Baptist did not take formal congregational action to condemn homosexuality (as some conservatives wanted to see happen).  Click here to read “Disfellowship and Dismay”, an excellent column from the interim pastor of Broadway Baptist.

No matter what the SBC says – I think their actions are loud and clear!