WHAT I DREAM FOR THE CHURCH

Yesterday I talked about my vision for the church in Childress. Let me continue those thoughts today with a dream I have for this church.

About a week ago I did something I usually don’t do. I looked to see what the men serving communion were wearing. This used to be an issue years ago. I’m glad we’re passed it. I had a woman a few years back mention that “so-in-so” was not wearing proper clothes while serving at the table. She also mentioned that one of the young men could have used a haircut. Finally, she closed with, “And there were some people talking during communion.”

I had heard her complaints many times before and I’d been very kind and gracious to her, but that morning for some reason, she caught me at a weak moment. “It’s obvious,” I told her, “if you have that much time to look around and take notes of who is doing what during the Lord’s Supper, then you are not focusing on the things the Bible says that you need to be focusing on!” She took it remarkably well. I tried to explain to her that what you wear is not important and that she needs to be focusing on Jesus, and if she does she won’t even noticed who is waiting on the table or what they are wearing.

This past Sunday I noticed who was waiting on the table. We had ten men of all different ages serving communion. I thought it was interesting that 3 had on ties and dress pants, 1 had on a full suit, 4 had on a pullover polo shirt and khaki pants and two had on a t-shirt and jeans. I smiled and thought to myself, “It’s awesome that we can have a good mix of people waiting on the table and it doesn’t really matter what anyone is wearing.” Then it hit me. This wasn’t as good as I though it was. Somehow I was missing the big picture. The thing that would have made it better than a mix of ages and clothing styles, would have been a mix of backgrounds, colors and people. Everyone up there were middle class people that looked just like me. I asked God to forgive us and ask His blessing to please help us reach out to those who are different than us.

“It’s obvious,” I told her, “if you have that much time to look around and take notes of who is doing what during the Lord’s Supper, then you are not focusing on the things the Bible says that you need to be focusing on!”

I dream that as a church we will be as interested in reaching, loving and serving people different than us as we are in reaching the middle class white family that’s just moved to town. Jesus was the perfect example of this. He didn’t spend all his time with people just like himself. Instead he spent his time with the outcast, the different, the unloved and the lowly?

  • The woman at the well. She was married five times and was shacking up with another man when she met Jesus. Yet Jesus found her incredibly important and salvation worthy.
  • The thief on the cross. One of the greatest stories of grace, ever.
  • The woman caught in adultery who Jesus told, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”
  • He ate with sinners. He taught the prostitutes. There were also the tax collectors, lepers, the demon possessed, the crippled, those of lower status… He offered them hope, the truth, and a way out of their misery.

I’m thankful that I look around the church where I worship and I’m beginning to see more people all the time who are different than me. I’m beginning to see people from different backgrounds not just skin color. Just a couple of weeks ago there was a 10 year old boy with us that had never been to church in his life. I thought that was amazing.

I want to worship with people who make some uncomfortable, people who look different and people who come from different backgrounds, not people who look just like me. Unfortunately, most of the people I see still look just like me. It is my conviction and dream to reach out to more people that are different than me. People who I’ve overlooked in the past.

What’s the makeup of where you worship?

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
26 Comments Post a Comment
  1. That Girl says:

    I was not at my “home church” Sunday but we talked about the Lord’s supper and how it’s the one thing that can bring unity but it’s very often the thing that divides us because of personal opinions. The body of Christ is what unites with each other – how can we have hard feelings against someone with whom we’re sharing the sacrifice of Jesus?

  2. nick gill says:

    In a congregation that averages 190 on Sunday AM:

    2 African American families.
    1 Filipino family.
    1 middle-aged mixed-race unmarried (for MDR reasons) couple.
    1 single African American lady.

    And I think that is the extent of our ethnic diversity. 17, 8 of whom are children.

    “The most segregated hour in America is 10 o’clock on Sunday morning.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great blog, Trey. We attend worship services with about 600 people, two services because we have grown so. That growth is most
    likely because any dress seems acceptable, and we have a diversity of races, lots of young families and lots of older ones. We have more than most of different activites, for the men, women, kids and families and our mission work is awesome. gmj

  4. preacherman says:

    Farmers, Ranchers, Deputies, EMT’s, Public Works, High School Students,Widows and Widowers, My boys, My wife and I. We are trying to make a difference in our communities by reaching out to those in need of Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful congregation. Very loving and friendly, grace-oriented. Life-application sermons and Bible Classes. We are very benevolent to those in the community. If people need help they know that they can come to us for it. (Which I think is wonderful).

    Great post Trey!

  5. Baptist Man says:

    You make a good point here brother…though I disagree with the idea that what you wear to worship is not important. That’s for another day.

    Our church usually has about 250 in attendance and you’ll see a bit of everything in our church. We have black, asians and hispanics.

    You’ll also see people from all over the financial spectrum. From the wealthy businessman to the single mom who rode the Sunday school bus to church with her children. That’s the way church should be.

    Great post brother.

  6. Tucker says:

    I love your observations of those who are a part of your body makeup. When I go to the assembly, I look around and see people who are just as lost as I am. So glad we have a place where we can come together and realize we have found…”The Way”.

    I love going to the local crisis intervention place and finding people that need help. They aren’t like me, they don’t know where they are going to sleep or where their next meal will come from. They are out there, I just gotta Go. They are lost and just looking for the Way. Isn’t it funny, Jesus spent more time with the outcasts than He did with the “Incasts”? Why is that hard for me to do? Thanks for your insight and vision, I love it! You are making a difference!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm.
    I’d comment but then I think I’d sound too much like Brian :) on this one.

    But I will say this:

    [1] it’s interesting that you used a picture of King since his desire was that we stop categorizing people as ‘different’ by color.

    [2] just what is it that makes YOU so much different that THOSE people?

    [3] “white” folks need to figure out why they think in terms of different and those people and lump the folks “not like them” in with: thieves, adulterers, prostitutes, blind crippled and crazy.

    not BRIAN but almost BRIAN 😉

    ANWE {almost not white enough)

  8. Anonymous says:

    “The most segregated hour in America is 10 o’clock on Sunday morning.”

    Very well said!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I totally understand what you are saying; I too want to be a part of a church that is made up people from all backgrounds. Not just race, not just economically, not just political, but everything. All different kinds of people coming together from all different walks of life to do one thing: Worship God!

  10. doug young says:

    Trey,

    I hope we continue to move towards disassociating race, economic factors, and etc. from deservedness to function in God’s kingdom. I think we have come a long way, but to a large degree it is because the younger generations tend to think differently about such factors.

  11. Dusty Rush says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing gender diversity in your Lord’s Supper line-up.

  12. kim says:

    wow trey. what you said to that lady was unapologetically direct. i admire that the guy in town that everyone loves (aka-you) and who makes friends with everyone, can be that bold. i don’t think that you should consider that a moment of weakness. Jesus didn’t apologize for calling the pharisees white washed tombs or throwing the tables over in the temples. what you said was truth and she needed to hear it.

    i love these thoughts. i have worshiped in lots of different churches around the states and some around the world, and i like to observe the body where i am. i notice that in most foreign churches that i have been to that the body is very diverse, and that the poor & needy outnumber the rest. i find it odd that it’s usually not the case here. it is very important to me that people of different races and backgrounds are welcomed into the arms of Christ as any other, whether they be muslim, have a tatoo sleeve and ear plugs, wear shorts and flip flops to church, or wear a suit.

    what you said means a lot to me. it is not easy to push yourself outside of your comfort bubble and reach out to those that are different from you, but it was VERY important to Jesus and should be to us.

  13. Greg says:

    I’m wit Dusty … I’d like to see women, both older and teens, involved in communion. Our church is very diverse in age, race, economic status, educational status, professional, etc.

  14. Terry says:

    We are mostly white and black (I’m guessing about 55/40 with about 5% other). We are mostly poor with a few middle class and rich. Most who attend are probably children or youth, but we also have some young adults, middle aged people, and elderly folks. We have probably committed just about every sin you could list…that’s where our greatest diveristy exists. Most of us speak English only, but a few speak Spanish also. Good dream, Trey!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The place we currently call our church home has been almost culture shock for my middle class CoC self, but it has proven to be a blessing for my long-haired, bearded, Catholic, rock-n-rollin’ handsome husband. No one offers to buy him a haircut or a razor.

    We shake hands and hug the men from the local halfway house, we look around at faces that are about 50% Hispanic and 50% Anglo. There are mixed race families, and there are older guy/younger wife couples. There are several blended families. There are a few older people (60+), but not many. Most are under 60. There are LOTS of former Catholics, both Anglo and Hispanic. There are also lots of Pentacostal/charismatic types.

    The preaching focuses on the love and grace of God rather than fear of messing up. My husband now goes to church whether I want to or not, which is a drastic change from the previous situation in which he went to keep me from being mad at him. The preacher is not always politically correct, but he is loved for being genuine. The music is called praise and worship, and it is truly that. I miss A Cappella, and yet I enjoy the passion and energy that fills our music service.

    There are teens of both races in worship whose parents seldom ever come, and there are teens whose parents worship elsewhere in town. Asking for prayer means people from all walks of life standing around you with their hands filling you with love and energy. It’s certainly different from anything I have ever experienced previously.

  16. Cornelius Crew says:

    What a great point! I’ve been to ‘places’ that made clothing a huge issue, rather than looking past the physical things and onto spiritual ones. Saying that, I feel that we all tend to go to things and people that we are comfortable with(it’s just human nature) and need to work on reaching out to people who need Jesus, not just a social club, but people who really need Him… and that’s all of us!

  17. Stephanie says:

    I don’t really want to comment on my place of worship make up for say…but I would like to express my gratitude for this post and your actual blog…. You make everyone feel welcome to join in on conversation and to learn together… I just want to tell you again… You are not only great for your church but “OUR” community….thank you…steph

  18. Anonymous says:

    First of all, I am the anonymous from the Northern church and thank you so much for your “awesome”.

    In my northern church, we are just happy people show up. In the land of beer, brats, and cheese (and let’s not forget the fabulous Favre) church is not the norm for most. So we aren’t picky and are just happy when someone walks in the door AND comes back! We have A LOT of single moms, a few recovery alcohols, and those who were raised in the church (I think all are white). I would love it if we had men. I don’t care what color, shape, size, age, etc. We only a pool of 5 men that consistantly attend and can lead. I read your post with jealousy. I can’t imagine not having worry that we don’t have enough men to serve. I would love a blog filled with ideas on how to reach the unchurched so they STAY, how to draw others in, and how to grow.

  19. Anonymous says:

    wooooooowww. i really like the new look

  20. Dcmba says:

    First, cool new design.

    Second, I really don’t know what the mix of our church is. With about 2,000 in attendance, I never really gave any thought to the demographic makeup. Don’t know if that’s because I never worried about it, or because most are palefaces like me. We do have a Spanish speaking service in our building with about 250 (I think). I do know we have about an equal mix of people in suits, polos, and jeans; okay, maybe not as many suits. I think one could feel comfortably there, as dress doesn’t really seem to play an important role.

    Third, I still cannot wear shorts to church in the evening or Wednesday nights. I also refuse to wear anything less than a tie when serving communion. For me, it is not about the NEED for nice clothes. I was simply raised to wear nice clothes to church. I wore jeans two weeks ago, but I was not serving.

    Whenever I see something different at church, be it dress, eating at the “church building”, etc., I always try to imagine early Christians doing that (and I consider myself quite conservative). They had no building, they met in homes. They ate there together. And I don’t think Jesus cared if they wore their finest robes to hear his lessons. I also imagine God would not disapprove in the worship conditions of people in some of the poverty stricken countries where are missionaries are working. As long as your dress respectfully, I do not have a problem.

  21. Anonymous says:

    To answer your question, and you are already fully aware of this, when I am not participating in a much more traditional communion service on Sunday morning in the building with men who wear pretty much all that you described, being almost always white middle-class and silently meditating (Which I refuse to do— I believe in talking and sharing boldly with my fellow partakers who usually reciprocate very reluctantly), I am out on the streets of Lubbock sharing a communion service with street tramps, pimps, drug addicts and their kids in the middle of the night. Different backgrounds? Yes. One night 2 or 3 Sunset students joined us, a couple of holy rollers, an ex-con-reformed murder/street preacher from a charismatic church, a couple of other ex-cons and two elders from Vandelia CoC and another representative from Greenlawn CoC came – AND THAT WAS THE DIVERSITY OF OUR MINISTRY TEAM!!!

    Kinda blows your old fashioned mind a bit, don’t it?

    I love your vision. May it prove accurate in Childress’s not too distant future!

    Blessings….
    The blogger formerly known as Messianic Gentile

  22. Stephanie says:

    I love the NEW look of the blog…who did it? It looks really good….steph

  23. TREY MORGAN says:

    Anonymous from up north … I love your comments!

    Thanks for the comments on the new look. Bluebird did it and did an excellent job. We’re still working out a few bugs, but it won’t be long thill we’re fully functional.

    Messianic Gentile – I have missed you!

  24. Gallagher says:

    Trey,

    Excellent thoughts! Our congregation has a mixed make-up, which leads to a variety joyous celebrations!

    When people complain about the interesting make-up of congregations I ask them, “Remember the apostles? Go research tat make-up of people and see how they got along. It was all because they knew Jesus….let us know Jesus too!”

    Great thoughts!

  25. Anonymous says:

    here you go brandon, some Biblical options to consider

    http://www.ismckenzie.com/03/28/14-old-testament-ways-to-get-a-wife/

    brian

  26. jamie riley says:

    Trey – great post bro…our church family sounds very similar to Childress. Like you, I’ve been blessed to see us really grow in allowing God to use us to reach the people HE wants to reach. We’re a blessed church family, great leadership, and great members…yet we have a ways to go.

    BTW – the new blog look is great! I know you have lots to do other than blog, thanks for taking the time to allow God to use you here…and thanks for visiting me, I appreciate it.

About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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