Church in a Chicken Coop?

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I invite you to travel back in time, when I was an elementary age child, living in Northern Michigan. In those early years, my parents rented several places to live. Our favorite rental was  “The Carpenter’s house” (name of family that owned the farm).

While living in the Carpenter’s house, my parents didn’t farm the land, but my dad did have several hunting dogs that he kept in one of the sheds on the property.

My two sisters and I had great fun playing on the hill in the back yard and we boosted our imaginations when we  played  in the woods just over the top of the hill.

But closer to the house, near the cherry orchard, was an old weather stained chicken coop. Of course, we had no chickens.  This hen house had an old worn out floor, a few nest boxes attached to the wall, and shredded straw scattered around the base of the floor. There were only a few cobwebs in the top corner of the coop that hung down from the ceiling out of our reach. There were three or four old benches that were inside the coop that we used for a pulpit, sitting area and for a pretend piano.  Oh, what fun we had in that place. Sometimes it was a play house, or a funeral home. My sister Judy’s bird died and we had a funeral service. Before burying the bird, Judy placed it in a shoe box, then in the ground; just outside of the coop. But of all the fun times we had, I remember playing church in the coop. My sisters and I, at the time, had just started attending a Baptist church a few miles away. Our parents allowed a church family to pick us up for Sunday School and church. A great new experience for us; so playing church became a part of the use of the old hen house.

Our cousins lived just down the road from us, so they would walk down the old dusty gravel road, to come and play with us.

Now, when we played church, my cousin Gloria, always seemed to be the preacher. The rest of us had to sit and listen to her. Of course, every service started with singing; so one of us would pretend to play the piano on an old wobbly bench.

We would sing the songs we had just learned in Sunday School; and of course our favorite was; “Jesus loves me”. We would sing our hearts out and then Gloria would preach at us. Not sure what she yelled about, but she would raise her voice real loud and tell us all the things we had done wrong, and then tell us the things we should do right. As I recall, before ending our church services;  one of us would always get upset over what someone said about us, or something we wanted to add to the church service but weren’t allowed. We always ended church with someone being upset or we  just became bored with church.

Hmm, makes me wonder if that isn’t what goes on in many a church service, in today’s world. Some people don’t like the way the Pastor preached, or the songs that were sung, or so and so didn’t speak to someone. We get so engaged in our materialistic world; we end up “playing” church. Today’s church doesn’t dwell so much on legalism but on materialism. That is more truthful than we want to admit. Instead of laying up treasures in heaven; we are building our mansions here on earth. Do we not realize that all that we have is “Stuff”. When a person is dying, they do not ask for their money and other possession to be at their side; they ask for their family.

In many churches today, we don’t hear many sermons on hell, soul winning, or having a burden for people who have never heard. We just live to make sure we are cared for and are comfortable. We seem to do whatever is right in our own eyes.

In this election year, have you noticed that the reporters and polls have shown that the evangelicals have surprised many by casting their primary vote to someone the world was not expecting? The world doesn’t realize that the church has shifted closer to the world; so we vote for the candidate that we think will meet our needs.

There are a couple of statements, I would like for you all to think about and consider:

Will our children and grandchildren know about God and salvation, or are the initials OMG the only mention of God they hear?

Do you allow opportunities for your children to attend a church that will tell them about the Christ that came as a babe, (the reason for Christmas), grew up and died on the cross, then arose the third day ( reason for Easter); and now, we await His return. Do the children know?

Do you wake up Sunday morning, dress, drink your coffee and head to the building we label church? Are you going to worship God with other believers or are you just going to “play church”? Do you become a part of your local church? Get involved in serving?

The One and only way to God is to accept Christ as your personal Savior and allow Him to be the Lord of your life.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.                John 14:6

The following are suggested helps in living for Christ and to prevent you from “playing church”:

  1. Read a portion of Scripture daily and have a time of prayer.
  2. Live the Word of God daily, being a godly example to others.
  3. Attend a Gospel preaching church.
  4. Get involved and become a  member of a church.
  5. Serve in the church.
  6. Take your children to church so they can learn about God.
  7. Allow your children to get involved in church activities.
  8. Pray and ask God to help you learn from the sermon.
  9. Ask God to help you live out what you have learned in His Word.

    But from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Dueteronomy 4:29

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: Matthew 7:7

    But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer  little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16

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