After a discussion with a co-worker, I thought it would be good to provide a "public service" by reminding those with "service ministries" that sometimes you offend more than you help. The case in point is a deaf ministry. A church wanted to help the deaf, but viewed the deaf community as "disabled in need of help" instead of people in need of a church.
Their misguided methodology stemmed from a serious misunderstanding. The deaf view themselves as capable members of society with no real impediment. The church viewed them as people with a disability needing their help. And somewhat the church's direction. As you can probably tell, the approach was less than winsome. When you and/or your church are looking for those they can help, first make sure you understand their problem. Once you understand the problem, if there is one, you can include them in the discussion and find out how you can serve. Servants don't dictate to masters or guests. They inquire, seek to do the best job, and do it at the best of their ability. This is what a Christian is called to do. So please, treat everyone as you would like to be treated, and ask first. It will save you from wasted effort, and preserve a valuable connection.
Monday, September 12, 2011
We are teaching the children this wonderful hymn. I found a youtube video of the hymn being sung and the words from the hymn displayed. This hymn is a fond memory of mine being sung by hundreds of men at the Fort Wayne Seminary. There really isn't anything like that... Regardless- enjoy!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
It is easy to forget that the Church does not need a church building to maintain herself. And that one does not need a fancy altar, sacred scrolls, incense, or coffee hour (no matter how Lutheran...) to constitute a Church Service. We have had a spate of natural disasters in my area- earthquakes, floods, severe storms, and a hurricane. Obviously, church was cancelled at least once. And yet services were held- by my family in our house. The smallest unit of the church is a couple (man and wife makes an excellent example). Study and prayer of God's Word with the appropriate praise to God for what He has done on our behalf constitutes the service. How easy it is for familiar and good things to cloud the core. If there is one thing that we have learned from the trails of the past weeks it is that God provides abundantly in trail and in fair seasons. And He does this through His Word, which maintains and strengthens the Church, regardless of the world around them.