Thursday, December 29, 2005

What About Standards???


Webster’s defines the word “standard” as something established for use as a rule of measurement for judging value, quality, or content. In churches today we seem to use it as a measure for judging the character and quality of someone’s Christian life and morality.

Preaching on the subject of standards can be difficult at best because many people assume they are subjective… “what’s a conviction for you is liberty for me.” BUT are standards subjective or, better worded, should standards be subjective? The answer is simple, NO. If standards are rules how can they be subjective when being used as a measuring guide?

I am a certified Basketball Referee. How could I properly officiate the game if every team made up its own rules? Now, each year the NFHS does update, modify, or change rules BUT all schools are subject to those changes. For example, when I first became a ref over 16 year ago players on a foul shot could enter the key when the ball left the shooters hands. Now the ball must hit the rim of the cylinder (touch iron) before players can attempt a rebound. These are man made rules which means they are subject to change as man changes his mind.

In MLB (Major League Baseball) it has bothered me for years that there is no standard for the outfield fence. In one park centerfield may be 425 feet from home while in another park it’s 399 feet. What’s the difference besides distance? Records. Should a player’s forty home runs in a smaller ball park mean more than another player’s 35 home runs in a big, deeper park? Every sport from football to soccer to basketball has a standard, uniform size playing area so why not baseball? It makes the game subjective. In Boston at Finway Park you need to hit the ball 2 miles in the air to clear the short distance in left field over the “green monster” while in Houston and San Francisco they have jigs, jogs, and even a hill in play in the outfield. Then there are parks where the fence is simply a straight shot in one direction or another. Home field advantage takes on a whole new meaning when the playing area is not a uniform standard but subjective.

Now to the church… should there not be standards to help you stay on track? Most people would answer “Yes” as long as those standards are in keeping with the Bible. Presbyterians accuse Baptists of being too loose with church structure and church government while Baptists blast Presbyterians for being too loose with dress standards and rules of personal conduct. Both claim Biblical authority.

Over the next several days we will examine standards for the life of the believer in conduct, dress, and function. Tomorrow’s installment: What Does the Bible Say About Dress Standards?

I believe the Bible clearly teaches three things about dress:

I. MODESTY

II. GENDER DISTINCTION

III. CULTURAL APPROPRIATENESS

Stay tuned…

5 Comments:

Blogger Kevin Keever said...

Looking forward to tomorrow's post. Are you also going to preach on this topic any time soon? I would be interested in hearing the sermons if you do, and if you already have is it in one of your tape series?

I know that it is a needed topic especially among our teens so I am EXCITED about our little experiment. What a difference from the typical IFBx presentation. With the name calling, shuning, and absolutely no practical helping, I bet 90% or more of our teens on Wed. would bail on the typical IFBxers.

You made a great point when you mentioned that the presentation
is what needs changing, not the standards. Flexible, rubber tires instead of hard immovable steel.
:-)

Again, I'm looking forward to your next post.

Bro. Kevin

8:32 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

Just curious Keever... how many of your Wednesday night teens come to Church on Sunday?

We had a HUGE Wednesday night program but dropped it because it wasn't bringing the kids in on Sunday. We focus more now on Sunday and Sunday School and hope to build from that into a future Wednesday night progam.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Kevin Keever said...

Tina,

Before I came to Fords Bush, the church had a typical Sunday School program and ran buses for it on Sunday. I don't know if they ran any on Wednesday or not, but Pastor Marty would be able to answer that. The Sunday School was not bringing in very many people as it once had and PMB and the workers prayed about it and decided to think outside of the box. They moved our Sunday School program to Wednesday nights.

Now our whole "Sunday School" program is done mid week. Call it "Wednesday School" if you'd like. :-) Some of our bus workers do pick up some kids on Sunday, but it is now just two services on Sunday. The 10:30AM and the 6PM services. It is working much better than before, from what I was told, since I wasn't here before the change.

To answer your specific question: Out of 66 people that were in my Wednesday night meeting two days ago, we'll have about half that this Sunday Morning. I'd love to have all 66 of them, but since all of our buses don't run on Sunday, we'll just have to see. It is really special to see a teen on Sunday whose bus doesn't run because it lets me know that teen is making a very specific effort to get themselves there. I am working on getting my Wednesday night teens' families out on Sunday so pray that God will allow me to win them and disciple them.

I would rather have a huge crowd of 66 on Wednesday and only have 33 on Sunday than to have 33 on Sunday and 12 on Wednesday. :-)

Our teens are great and I love them. :-)

One last thing. So many people criticize bus ministry and say, "Oh you had 66, but how many of them were bus?" I don't look at that because I want to minister to all the teens that come in. Yes, some of them have different needs and some of them are at different spiritual growth levels, but even in a church with no bus ministry at all, you're going to have teens and even adults that are at different places in life spiritually, emotionally and so on. :-) Along that line, I am not even sure how many of our 66 were bus, maybe 40. That is teens, I don't know about the other age groups. We run to full size buses and two "15" passenger vans. Of course not all the riders are teens. :-) On Sunday, I think one van runs, but I am not sure about that. Our bus ministry is Wed. If someone runs on Sunday it is because they plan on that special. Again, no Sunday School on Sunday so they are picking up for our morning service. It is a great set up that works wonderfully for us.

I think you and I have had a similar "problem" or situation, just on different days of the week. :-)

Take care Tina. :-)

Sorry for the lenght...I should have taken this to the forum.

Kevin

3:58 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I'm glad you answered it here, so I don't have to step over the poop on the forum to read it.

We had about 150 on Wednesday nights (Teen and Middle School age) and only about 10 on Sunday. They came on Wednesday for the food, fun and entertainment and seldom came on Sunday because the same things weren't offered. It pulled too many workers out of Wednesday night service as well. Our Wednesday night service has tripled in attendance since we stopped the program. We have also reached more families of the bus kids since we stopped the program. We have three full families that are now attending faithfully on Sundays whos kids were reached on Wednesday night. That is a blessing. I know one day we will restart the Wednesday program but it will be done a lot differently. Keep notes of what your doing I would like to get them from you in the future. We are trying to build family unity right now on Wednesday nights. This gives the Sunday school teachers and Junior Church workers a service where they can attend with their full families in attendance (most of the workers on Wednesday also did duty on Sunday.

Good luck with your program, I hope you can get the kids to grow and learn to love the CHURCH.

11:27 PM  
Blogger The Pharisee said...

Hey, Marty. Fort Plain Little League embezzlement story, do you have any comments?

8:25 AM  

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