For God’s worldly performance, God deserves an ‘F’

Someone asked me recently, “Pastor, what is a successful church?” By church, I suppose he meant congregation. Great question! Let’s take out our metrics and tools and get to work.

But, before we do, consider this: At its absolute zenith, in its simplest form, Christianity is the story of a God who died one day in order to redeem his people. On that day, participants were distraught, hiding or whipped into a frenzy. Doesn’t seem very successful to me. Don’t you think God deserves an ‘F?’ I say we all give God a big fat ‘F!’

Time to measure Trinity Lutheran Church, Manhattan Beach, or any congregation, for that matter. For starters, we still preach Christ crucified. We still believe that Jesus rose from the dead and will come again. We still believe that until he comes again, we are Christ’s body, continuing the work that he started (cf. Lk 4:18-19). Any current hiding, angst, and frenzy, therefore, is predictable because that’s what people do when God is up to big things.

One of the songs Trinity’s 11 o’clock worship band plays is entitled “There’s Something Happening Here,” a reference to Jesus being present in our lives, delivering his kingdom. Big, Gospel things are happening here at Trinity, Manhattan Beach.

By the way, ‘F’ is for FOLLOW.

 Pastor Luther






One response

  1. During his sermon last Sunday (2/16/14), Pr. Luther referred to those passages in the Bible that speak of chaff being separated from wheat on the threshing floor. Traditionally the wheat refers to good people and chaff to the evil ones who will be separated out at Judgment Day and thrown into the fiery furnace of hell.

    This traditional interpretation has always sent a small shiver through me whenever I read or hear it. It brings up images of preachers hollering about “hellfire and damnation” to a cowering congregation.

    Pastor offered us a different and meaningful way of looking at these passages by teaching that each of us is BOTH grain AND chaff. I take this to mean that as we become familiar with our own greed, gluttony, envy, etc., our chaff is shaken from us and thrown to burn in a transformative crucible, making it possible for us to come closer to God.

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