Who Needs Church?

Last week was framed for me by two funerals.

The first was an older lady who had fought a battle with cancer. Her death was not completely unexpected. She was a nice lady who cared for her family and her neighbors. Since she was related to a family member I was asked to officiate at her funeral.  She was connected to a church but not very active.  Only a small group came to pay their respects and honor her memory. She will certainly be missed and no doubt influenced more than just those who attended her funeral.

The second funeral I have already posted about. John Robert Dobbs was a young man about to graduate high school. His death was totally unexpected. Since I had known him from birth and am very close to his family I was asked to participate in his funeral. He was very connected to his church. He grew up in church, at church camp, at youth rallies, and leading worship. Hundreds came to his funeral to pay their respect and honor his memory and literally hundreds more have contacted his family with an outpouring of words of comfort and prayers. John Robert’s influence will only continue to grow through this network of believers and beyond.

Don’t misunderstand, I am not attempting to pass any kind of judgement on the life lived by this sweet lady or even by John Robert based upon their respective funerals. They departed this life under greatly different circumstances. And now they are both in God’s gracious hands.

 I am just observing.

What a difference a church family makes.

Who needs church?

We all do.

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16 Responses to Who Needs Church?

  1. Darin says:

    Good thoughts. Appropriate thoughts.

    Thanks.

  2. Royce Ogle says:

    How lonely we would be at catastrophic times but for our “forever family” who are always there to share gladness and sadness. Yes, church makes a huge difference. When my mother died, she lived about 750 miles away from West Monroe, La, not one of the people at WFR had ever met her,but the outpouring of love, cards, flowers, memorial gifts to World Radio, WFR Relief, The Gideons, and other ministries in her name were great comfort to my heart.

    Only our brothers and sisters in Christ are so generous with their compassion and love.

    His Peace,
    Royce Ogle

  3. Donna says:

    It is a powerful force. One that will sometimes make us compromise all the things we know….for that love.

  4. I am so thankful for my church family. Since non of my blood family (except those through the blood of Christ live close by) there have been many times in my life that I would not have made it had it not been for the love, caring, and hugs from my church family and my dear, dear friends from Harding!

  5. preacherman says:

    Great thoughts brother.
    I am so thankful for the current Church family I have.
    So supportive and loving.

  6. Rodney Livingston says:

    Danny,
    Just a thought, we could probably do more as a church family. There is somewhere that everyone can serve if people could just see the need to serve in this capacity. At Leoma we are in the process of trying to help with the funeral occasion from a congregation standpoint. I feel this is much needed and will impact the church for the better. I may use your illustrations with the elders, to further confirm what they are trying to do is useful. Thanks, tell the family hello and give them girls a hug, from the Livingstons.
    Rodney

  7. Adam G. says:

    I agree with your observations, but would note that the age of the departed makes a difference in who attends the funeral. My great aunt passed away last year in her 90s, having spent the last decade of her life in a pretty much comatose state. Most of the people she had known in her vital years had already passed away, so that only close family and a handful of former neighbors attended her funeral. Had she passed away 20 or 30 years earlier, far more people would have been there.

  8. shannon says:

    Because we do
    All things together
    All things improve
    Even weather.

    Our daily meat
    And bread taste better
    Trees greener,
    Rain wetter.

    I don’t make a habit of reading poetry, but I ran across this Paul Engle, short poem as I was glancing through a literature textbook recently. I don’t think I have ever read a better description of the whole purpose of Christian fellowship.

    Many of us try to make it on our own, denying others the opportunity to help us. Many of us don’t think we can be of help to others. We can be helped and we can help – when we are together.

    The Hebrew writer said, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, {20} by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, {21} and since we have a great priest over the house of God, {22} let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. {23} Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. {24} And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. {25} Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25

  9. TheDeeZone says:

    Good observations. Although there are times when the church abandons the faithful.

  10. VoteNader says:

    I personally tend to be very non- and even anti-religious, however, I am very in favor of the social benefits of our religious institutions, be they churches, mosques, synagogues or temples of any sort. As our society is running out of other social institutions (do you know any Elks?), religious institutions are one of the last places that foster a genuine sense of community. Good post, I’ll take it as a reminder to more actively seek out and engage in community groups and events.

  11. dannydodd says:

    Thanks for everyone’s comments and various perspective on this. I find what your input very interesting.

    I always appreciate the words of regular readers and always welcome new folks!

    So, Darin, Donna, Royce, Rodney, Kenny, Adam and Tammie- your presence here and sharing your wisdom is a blessing.

    Shannon, your addition to this dialog is refreshing.

    DZ- sadly you happen to be right. Fortunately this is the exception rather than the rule.

    And VoteNader- your point is well made. Thanks for stopping in and sharing. Your viewpoint will always be welcome.

    Blessings to you all.

  12. Muzcman says:

    There’s an unconditional love and care that you can’t find anywhere else except within the church. Sometimes family members don’t even treat each other that well.

  13. Martha R. Bone says:

    Danny, very good blog. I was sadden to hear about John’s son. I don’t know John Dobbs as well as I know you, but I do remember him from years ago. Hope all is well with you and that you all are about back to normal after Katrina. I enjoyed the letter you sent and would have liked to come down but wasn’t able to. Martha

  14. TheDeeZone says:

    Danny ,

    I think it depends on the church. My experience has been neglecting the faithful who are no longer due health issues is very common in smaller churches. Maybe that is why the churches are small.

  15. dannydodd says:

    Again I thank new readers Briam, Muzman and Martha for thier additions to this discussion. Thank you!

    Muzman makes a great point.

    Martha, it is great to hear from you. I hope all is well with you.

    DZ is a new reader as well and my thanks for returning and commenting again. Sometimes the elderly among us do fall through the cracks and I know that has to break God’s heart since we have a special biblical call to care for them.

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