Feet: Jacked up or Beautiful?

You don’t want to be in the car when my boys take off their socks and shoes. In fact, they are now forbidden from doing such a thing ever since our last road trip this past May. There’s not enough “Febreze” in the world to mask the odor that emits from their feet. Praise the Lord they can clip their own toe nails now.

Not that mine are any better. I’m only allowed to do my own pedicure outside, and preferably just prior to getting in to the shower. And I can’t even consider touching another person in my family with my feet.

Evidently, the boys got their nasty feet naturally.

Not everyone’s feet are as jacked up as the men on the Tims Team, but when is the last time you looked at your feet and thought, “Now THOSE are beautiful”? Even the most perfect pedicure can’t change what we all know to be true: feet are funky.

Thankfully, God has a way of redeeming our feet beyond their unpleasant physical form.

Consider Romans 10:14-15.

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

How does God redeem our feet? By associating them with the degree to which we go and share the gospel with others. The feet of those who go with the good news of the gospel of grace have beautiful, beautiful feet.

Trim your nails and wash between your toes all you want. But if you want to have beautiful feet, share the gospel.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Windows Operating System and the Church

Windows 8 is coming out.  I couldn’t possibly care less, being a Mac person, but Iistening to Kim Komando a few weeks ago, I learned something about the way Windows OS updates have typically been created: by adding on to what has already been built.  That is supposedly less true about Windows 8, but previous updates of the Windows OS have been add-on’s to pre-existing framework.

It occurred to me that this same problem exists in many churches, especially in the deep fried south.  We tend to love the institutions and programs we create, so much so that when the need for restructuring or “upgrading” comes, we bend over backwards to build on to our existing framework.  The result in the church is the same with Windows OS: frequent “crashes” and nagging “bugs” that lead to increased dissatisfaction and less productivity.

Perhaps one of the ways that a church with treasured (and presumably effective) ministry programs can “upgrade” is by emphasizing missional Christian living … to accentuate the call of BEING the church rather than COMING to church.  In their book, “Everyday Church,” Tim Chester and Steve Timmis give simple yet powerful suggestions for such living (adaptable to most any church situation).  Here are four (page 106-107).

  1. Eat with non-Christians.  Make a habit of sharing a few meals each week with non-Christians (how easy is this at work or school?!).
  2. Be a regular.  Go to the same places for gas, groceries, dining, coffee, etc., and build relationships with the employees and other frequent customers over time.
  3. Volunteer at non-profits in your community.  Why should churches start competing ministries when they infiltrate existing efforts with the Gospel?
  4. Hobby with non-Christians.  The tendency for Christians is to start Christian versions of things the world does so that Christians have a comfortable place to invite their lost friends to.  Missional ministry takes the opposite approach: the Christian seeks a place where non-Christians are comfortable and lives as Light in their midst.

Where people gather for church, programmatic ministries are necessary.  An infrastructure will always be required.  By emphasizing missional living, church leaders reduce the amount of “adding on” and increases its influence for the Gospel in its community.