The Church About Nothing

Erik Raymond —  February 4, 2014

What do we want to do when we want to learn about a church? Well, typically, we read their websites and maybe listen to a sermon or two. This is definitely helpful. However, I’d like to suggest another option: listen to members talk. Go ahead, engage in conversation with members, listen to discussions in the hallway, read some of the folks’ social media posts, etc. What do they say?

It is one thing to confess truth and quite another to believe it. When the truth of the gospel gets in us we have to talk about it. It overflows. Paul highlighted this in Colossians 3:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:16)

When the word of Christ dwells in a believer richly it comes out. We breath in the word and we exhale it. It comes out in what we say. Borrowing the same idea from Jesus, out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Mt. 12.34).

Twenty years ago Seinfeld dominated televisions on Thursday nights. “Must See TV” was a show “about nothing.” The characters regularly reset their counterintuitive vision to captivate audiences with trivial and sarcastic banter. With the help of some extremely gifted writers, we laughed at Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine as they majored on the mundane.

We should never be “The Church about nothing.” The Seinfeld church is a judgment upon the church. The word of Christ is to dwell within us and then come out of us in our conversations with one another. Therefore, we can’t be about nothing.

It is vitally important for the church to confess, sing, and preach the truth. However, this truth has got to captivate the minds and hearts of the church family. When we listen to the conversations or take stock of our own words, we can see the gap.

May God grant that we not be “The Church About Nothing” but rather the church that is daily laboring to speak the truth to one another in love (Eph. 4:15).

But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Heb. 3:13)

(This is taken from a sermon preached at Emmaus Bible Church entitled The Heart of Faithfulness from Hebrews 3:7-19. Audio & manuscript here.)

Erik Raymond

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Erik has been writing at Ordinary Pastor since 2006. He lives in Omaha with his wife and kids while pastoring at Emmaus Bible Church. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/erikraymond

7 responses to The Church About Nothing

  1. Hi Erik,
    I only came across one of your articles this morning and wanted to say how much I appreciated it. You were talking about pinching or stealing other peoples sermons. Yes I know the danger o laziness in not preparing thoroughly ourselves from the given text but also do we not look up commentaries of men like Spurgeon and Ryle and of course look at Johm Macarthur , and others on sermon.audio and either confirm what we consider the Lord is revealing to us (either from present reading or as you suggest long time ago reading). A tremendous amount passes either through our minds or remains as our minds say “That is good I might use that some day but for the present I am feeding upon that truth for my own benefit and it strengthens my witness day by day.
    I am happy when someone says to me “I used what you wrote in one of your booklets recently as I felt it should be passed on and was exactly what i wanted to say”. Your wording was far better than I could have thought up. So I am thankful for your article and your honesty. May God continue to use your ministry to His praise honour and glory. Thanks again Erik. I would be grateful for an answer when you have time.
    Jim Allis

  2. Taking your members from the Minors to the Majors thru the preaching of the Word. Thanks for helping me think about what I should be emphasising on Sunday morning.

  3. Amen! We need more substance, more meat, more gravitas. (You forgot to put an e on the end of “breath”)

  4. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do
    with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that,
    this is wonderful blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Also visit my page: Vindictus hack

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