Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Getting the (Church) Recipe Right or Wrong

On Thanksgiving day I plan to eat some delicious food. For your sake I hope you are, too.

I admit up front that I will probably have little to do with the cooking. I can do supportive stuff such as taking out the trash, setting the table, filling glasses with ice, etc. However, when it comes to the actual cooking, I'm staying out. I can trust my wife, sister-in-law, and mother with those tasks. They have mad cooking skills.

I can trust that they will get the recipe right. They're not going to mess up the turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, pies, etc. They'll add the ingredients that should be in there, but won't mess it up by adding what shouldn't. Every year it is good.

As it is important to get the Thanksgiving recipes right, it is the same with the church. When we follow the recipe we've been given, things tend to go well. When we deviate from that recipe, things tend to go downhill fast.

Many Christians act as if we have no church recipe to follow. This is odd. The same people who look to the bible for instruction about gospel truths ignore much of what the bible has to say about church life. They sort of make things up as they go. This is how churches end up with things like youth groups and puppet ministries.

When we search the scriptures for its church recipe we find treasure after treasure about how we should live. If we are open to what we see there, the Holy Spirit will testify to its truths. We read about how we should treat and interact one another, why we should gather, what leadership looks like, how we ought to interact with unbelievers, what we should do with money, etc. The bible is simply full of information that gives us God's recipe for church life. Problems begin whenever we deviate from that recipe.

Let's take a Thanksgiving example: the turkey is excellent when the recipe is followed. However, problems will arise quickly if the cook adds something that is not needed like chocolate. Chocolate in other circumstances is great, but not on the turkey.

When extra ingredients are added to church life, even with good intentions, the results are almost always problematic. When we stick with the recipe, much more positive will come from it. God is the ultimate chef. He not only created the recipe, but he created the church. If we'll simply follow His plan the results will be good.


Steve Scott said...

How can an individual follow His plan without a church of people who follow His plan? Can I make other people follow His plan so that I can?

Aussie John said...


Didn't you know that the recipe for the once, or twice, a week Hymn Sandwich is VERY satisfying?

It fuel for a whole week.