Two posts caught my attention this morning and I wanted to pass them along to you. Interestingly enough, both have to do with things that will happen only as the believer is fully engaged in the life of the local church. I simply cannot say enough how important it is for believers to be connected and committed in a local context.
How to Receive Criticism Like a Champ
Quite frankly, receiving criticism is not something I’m particularly good at. So posts like this convict me like crazy. I’m thankful for the pastoral wisdom and quick wit of Mark Altrogge in this post.
I don’t love to be criticized or critiqued. I must admit, I don’t love “input.”
I think this goes back to my Intro to Design class in college. One day Dr. Grinchwold (named changed) walked past my desk, looked disdainfully at my project, a 3-dimensional paper fly (which was brilliant, by the way), and muttered something. “Excuse me, what did you say?” I asked. To which he replied for the whole class to hear, “I said, ‘Do you have a match?’ Because you should burn that thing.” I was stunned, mortified and humiliated. I wanted to say, “If I had a match I’d light your pants on fire,” but I didn’t.
One thing that has always amazed me about the world famous evangelical uber-blogger and author, Tim Challies, is that he doesn’t act like a famous person. He is marked by humility. And his commitment to the local church in his own life is something that I have always seen as an evidence of God’s saving and sanctifying grace. This article, I think, is just an overflow of what I’ve seen Tim living.
Churchmanship is a virtue that may also be fading into history. We all lead busy and multi-faceted lives. We have obligations at home and at work and we have relationships to nurture with family, extended family, neighbors, friends. Somewhere in that mix is commitment to a local church. For some people church ranks so highly that ministry always comes first, even at the expense of everything and everyone else; for some people church barely ranks at all and receives only the few moments that are left over when everything else has been taken care of.
Between these extremes is the virtue of good churchmanship. The good churchman is a Christian who truly and wholeheartedly dedicates himself to his local church, to the community of believers he loves. This is the Christian who who loves those people, who serves them, and who prioritizes them. This is a fading virtue we would do well to recover and to call one another to.