First News
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January 24, 2020, 4:11 PM

Jan 24


 
January 24, 2020
 
The Tyranny of Trivia 
by Mike Yaconelli
 
There is something wrong with the organized church. You know it.
I know it. We all see that something is wrong—drastically wrong. Just one semi-close look at the organized church---with its waning influence and its cultural impotence---tells us that something
has gone awry. But, the questions is, what has gone awry?
What is wrong?
I think I know.
The problem with the Church today is not corruption. It is not the institutionalism. No, the problem is far more serious than something like the minister running away with the organist. The problem is pettiness. Blatant pettiness.
Visit any local church board meeting, and you will be immediately shocked by the sheer abundance of pettiness. The flower committee chairman has decided to quit because someone didn’t check with her before they put flowers on the altar last Sunday. The Chairman of the Board is angry because a meeting was held-without his knowledge. One of the elders is upset with the youth director because the youth director wants to take the church youth group to a secular concert. The women’s kitchen committee is up in arms because, at the last youth meeting (which mushroomed from 15 kids to 90 kids in six months), the kids took some sugar from the kitchen. The janitor is threatening to quit because the youth group played a game on the grass over the weekend, and now the lawn needs extra work.
I can understand each and every one of the gripes listed above. I also understand that the same general argument is always made for each one of these gripes.
“If you don’t have order, you have chaos. It sounds like a little thing, but if everyone was allowed to__________, think what that would mean.” Ah, yes, think what it would mean.
What would it mean? Probably nothing. And yet, in every church in this country, boards, ministers, and church members—in the name of “what would this mean?” - - are running around trying to answer that very question. In other words, churches are so preoccupied with the petty, they can’t spend the time required to do what does matter.
So, I would like to say that what people in church leadership are apparently having a difficult time saying today: There is no excuse for pettiness in the Church. Pettiness should have no place at all in any church for any reason.
Petty people are ugly people. They are people who have lost their vision. They are people who have turned their eyes away from what matters and focused, instead, on what doesn’t matter. The result is that the rest of us are immobilized by their obsession with the insignificant. It is time to be rid of pettiness.
It is time the Church refused to be victimized by petty people. It is time the Church stopped ignoring pettiness. It is time the Church quit pretending that pettiness doesn’t matter.
Pettiness is a cancer that has been allowed to go undetected; a molehill that has been allowed to become a mountain. Pettiness has become a serious disease in the Church of Jesus Christ—a disease which continues to result in terminal cases of discord, disruption, and destruction. Petty people are dangerous people because they appear to be only a nuisance instead of what they really are—a health hazard.
The most basic result of the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives is our deliverance from the sin of pettiness. It really is true that, in Jesus, we are freed from the bondage of the insignificant and let loose from the tyranny of the trivial.
 
Mike Yaconelli (July 24, 1942 – October 30, 2003) was a writer, theologian, church leader and satirist. Co-Founder of Youth Specialties, a training organization for Christian youth leaders, and The Wittenburg Door (sometimes just The Door), a satirical magazine, Yaconelli was also the pastor of a small church in Yreka, California - "the slowest growing church in America" as he called it. He and wife Karla used to share their time between Yreka and the Youth Specialties offices in El Cajon, California.
As well as his contributions to The Wittenburg Door, Yaconelli also wrote a number of books for youth leaders, and was a well received Christian  conference speaker. He was a regular at the Greenbelt festival in the UK.
On his last visit to Greenbelt, he said:
"If I were to have a heart attack right at this moment, I hope I would have just enough air in my lungs and just enough strength in me to utter one last sentence as I fell to the floor: "What a ride!" My life has been up and down, careening left then right, full of mistakes and bad decisions, and if I died right now, even though I would love to live longer, I could say from the depths of my soul, "What a ride!"
Mike was killed in an automobile accident in 2003.
 
Beginning in February our children, birth through 5th grade, will gather in the Fellowship Hall at 10:20 for a snack time and then proceed to their Bible study time in Children’s Church.
They will no longer be dismissed from the sanctuary.
Our reasons for this are child-centered.
 
  • More Bible study time for the children -The children have not been able to complete their study time in 40-45 min on Sunday. 
This is their only Bible study time and as the worship service is
only an hour, that time has shortened.
  • Greeting, informing guest parents -Parents of visitors will be greeted as they enter by our trained welcoming team and a member of the children’s team and informed of the options for their children. Parents will be able to visit the area where their children will be, hear more about our children’s ministry directly from Gael Thompson, pastor of family life. The parents will then be escorted back to the sanctuary.
  • Obtaining important information for child safety -
This will allow us to collect important information to
better serve their children (allergies, etc.) and to get a
contact number should anything occur during that hour
that requires parental help. This is important for their
safety and to satisfy state childcare regulations.
Feel free to see and visit with our children on Sundays during the fellowship time of 10-10:30. You may also volunteer to work with our children on Sunday mornings. 
 
WELCOME
We are so happy to welcome Kate Marley & Will Jones as members of First Christian Church.
 
When: January 24-26
What: an in-town ecumenical weekend retreat designed to
help middle school and high school students connect with
God and grow in their relationship with Him
Theme: Frequency and the challenge is to get the students to be in the word/spend time with God every single day
Where: We will be staying at FCC lock-in style again this year and traveling back & forth to FBC for the event.
Cost: $50. There are scholarships available so please let us know if you need one 
Registration: please register here & then let me know
once you have registered
 
 

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