A Recipe for Disaster
Somewhere along the line, I became the breakfast cook in our family. It may have been because of my love for breakfast, or that I was always the “up and at em” one in my family. Regardless, on my day off each week, I would make a special breakfast for the kids and give Holly a chance to sleep in or just relax. The menu varied from omelets with bacon and home made hash browns to three loaves of French toast, most of which was frozen and then warmed in the toaster for the next couple of weeks. But probably the one the kids looked forward to the most was the Belgian Waffles.
Now, there was a learning curve for getting the waffles just the way we liked them. One aspect of this learning came before the kids were even born. One morning, another Randy and I were making waffles for a men’s prayer breakfast. I noticed that he wasn’t putting oil in his batter as I was. I got to thinking, I spray my waffle iron so they don’t stick, so, why do I need to put oil in them? The next time I made them was a disaster. They didn’t rise, they barely cooked, something was really wrong. After examining his recipe and mine I discovered that the oil was part of the rising agent in mine, while he had a different way of making his. Mixing the two ways wasn’t more efficient—it was a disaster!
We have to take the same precaution when it comes to the body of Christ, the church. God has given us a recipe for growth: individuals sharing with individuals. One person inviting another person to come be a part of our service on Sunday. Asking a friend to come to one of our activities or seeing if someone is interested in knowing more about God and His love for them. One person helping another person grow from where they are to a deeper relationship with God. The recipe God has given us is this: individuals helping individuals, a very personal approach.
Then there is the business recipe or model. It is all about advertising and flash. Get their attention then wow them with the production. And while I am not opposed to doing things the best way we can and having events being well planned and professional, we have to make sure we don’t lose sight of what it is all about. No, it is not about an auditorium full of people, the proof of success in the business model. It is about the individuals committed to Christ who come together to fill that auditorium.
It comes down to purpose and method. Are we looking around to see what is being done, or are we getting on our knees and asking, What can I do Lord? Who can I invite? How can you use me? What do I need to give up for your Kingdom? We don’t want to be vulnerable, we don’t want to step out, we want things done at an arm’s length; yet, God desires us to reach out the length of our arms and put them around people. Yes, God wants the church to grow; but success isn’t found by looking around at others’ tactics, but from bowing down at our Lord’s throne and saying Here I am, send me. If we follow God’s recipe for growth, attendance will rise. . .just the way the recipe says it will.