What do bikers and campers have that the Church doesn’t?

June 3, 2011

Pastor's Study

Now before I go any further, let me say that what I am about to address is NOT an issue that we are facing (to my knowledge) at South Fork.  So, if you read this and think I may be talking about you, check up – because that might be the Holy Spirit convicting you (it certainly isn’t me.)

About 50 of us left the church this past Sunday (Memorial Weekend) and went to South Toe Campground for an afternoon of fellowship (and a lot of food!!)  There were three of us that rode our motorcycles up the mountain.  With every passing motorcycle, our arms went out to wave at our fellow brothers on two wheels.  Someone commented on this fascinating occurrence.  My response was, “I’ve never met another motorcycle rider on the road that was ever mean.  We have a common passion and we treat each other with respect out of that shared love!”  ((Note:  This even applies to the Harley Davidson riders! – that’s an inside joke.))  As we got to the campground, I told one of our members that I couldn’t camp like this.  “There are too many people.”  He told me the story of when he first went camping.  He said that he thought he would hate it.  “But the people that camp are like one big family.  We get along with each other.  We play together.  We share meals together.”  In essence, he told me that he liked camping because he liked campers!

Immediately I thought, “WOW!  I wonder what would happen if people talked about the CHURCH like they talked about motorcycling and camping?”  If there is any place in the world where people should love each other and have desire to be with each other,   SHOULD THAT NOT BE THE CHURCH?!?  So, my question is why is this not true in many of our churches?  Why are many (so-called) Christians so mean?  As one preacher asked, “Why do Christians throw rocks at each other?” 

Two quick thoughts come to my mind: 1) Those “mean” Christians may not really be Christians at all.  Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  If you claim the name “Christian” and your life doesn’t show love for fellow believers, THE BIBLE SAYS that you are claiming something that you really don’t have!  In fact, the Bible calls you an out-and-out liar.  My prayer is that you will make sure that you are really God’s Child.  2) Many people come to church with THEIR agendas and THEIR goals in mind.  When in reality the reason we come to Church is to worship our Savior.  My position, my prestige, my power…none of that means anything.  The only thing that matters is for me to Worship Christ and align my life with HIS agenda and HIS goals. 

I’m afraid that these two issues are the reason for the impotence in the life of the American Church!  My challenge is NOT to make us mad; but rather, to call us to examine ourselves so that together we can make a dynamic impact on our community for Christ! 

One last word:  South Fork, one of the reasons that I love you so much is because I see a wonderful unity within our family.  That unity is based upon and built upon our Shared Passion and Love of Jesus Christ.  DON’T EVER LOSE THAT!!

About Pastor

My Family: My wife and I have been married for 30 years (wow! that's hard to believe.) We have four wonderful children and EIGHT perfect grandchildren!! Education: I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Pastoral Theology from Tennessee Temple University. After serving Bethel Baptist Church in Ontario, Canada as Youth Pastor and South Buncombe Baptist in Asheville, NC as Associate Pastor, we moved to Wake Forest, NC where I attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1995, I received my Master of Divinity degree (with languages.) From 1999-2001, I attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree in Expository Preaching. Ministry: I have had the privilege of pastoring three wonderful congregations (Montwood Baptist 1993-1997; Union Baptist 1997-2002; and, South Fork Baptist 2010-present.) In 2010, God brought a very special group of people into my life. South Fork has become much more than a ministry to my family - it has become our home. If you are looking for a Church to call home, you will not find a better group of people than the family that makes up South Fork.

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2 Responses to “What do bikers and campers have that the Church doesn’t?”

  1. Marion Says:

    This is why I love my church family soooooooo much. We remember why we are there. Love ya SouthFork. And Pastor I could not agree with you more.


    • Pastor Says:

      Marion: You are right! We have a wonderful church family. I just want you to know that you are a big part of what makes SF so special!! Love ya.


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