We are a middle class American church. We may range from the depths of middle class to the higher fringes of middle class, but we are primarily a middle class church. We descended from a strong work ethic in a rural environment that managed with values and behavior strange to todays America.
Many of us adults adopted those values and perspectives. Most of us do not live as our grandparents lived, but the older of us still hold many of their values and perspectives.
However, times have changed considerably. Now we have adults who do not know those values and perspectives. We have young people who have never seen or heard of those values and perspectives. While our grandparents knew hard times, now there are people in the church who live exclusively in prosperity and its lifestyle.
Do you doubt we are a middle class church? How do you feel if the congregation has a sizeable number who assemble here to praise God from true poverty circumstances? Or, if our building is used to provide support groups a meeting place to teach and encourage those who confront addictions? Or if we mix our children in classes with children who come from obviously different environments?
Perhaps the biggest shock comes if circumstances require us to live in a third world country. Much of the worlds population resides in such countries. After we get past the curious tourist stage, our eyes see things and ears hear things never seen or heard before. We see people truly trapped in poverty, who never have enough to eat, who could put the entire familys clothing in one of our closetsand still have empty space, who are sick most of the time (by our definition), and who likely will die before the age of 50.
Shockingly, these people smile more, are less anxious, are more thoughtful, and are more grateful than many of us. Conversion changes nothing physically for many of them, but they are so grateful to know the hope given by the living God.
May we develop Gods eyes and ears as we look at ourselves and others!
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell