It seems to be the regular thing now…
You reach out for some help or purchase an item from a service provider and before you know it you receive an email requesting you fill in a short survey to rate your experience.
Florence and I had that again just recently when we signed up for a NBN package with our long time internet provider. The process on the phone took more than half an hour but I must say, the sales person did an exceptional job and walked me through all I needed to know and understand.
Within an hour there it was…. Please rate your experience of the service ‘Matt’ provided.
THEN came the actual connection and beginning of the service… AGAIN the request to rate the service
SOON afterwards I sought help for the VOIP connection…. AGAIN the request came.. rate the service
How about our experience of belonging to this church family… or what if you received an invitation to rate your experience of today’s worship service… even this sermon!
The Church Life Survey people who take a census of the Australia Churches ask such questions.
Which raises the question… however you rate your church for its:
Who or what makes it the way you rate it?
Further, when giving your church a rating, who or what is the focus?
What is the benchmark for the rating measure?… is it what we want, expect… is it US FOCUSED?
So we have arrived in a new town and we are going church shopping… where
- AN ALL TOO FAMILIAR EXPERIENCE
- THE EXCEPTION TO THE NORM?
- WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT?
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
1 Corinthians 1:10–31 (NIV84)
10I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
12What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
14I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.
16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,
29so that no one may boast before him.
30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Colossians 1:1–17, 23 (NIV84)
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2To the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colosse: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
4because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints—
5the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel
6that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth.
7You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf,
8and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully
12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,
14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.