Cumberland Times-News

August 7, 2008

Make right choice with church

David Sandvick, Columnist

On a recent visit to Tennessee, I spoke with the wife of a Christian camp director and she related this story to me. Her husband bought her an ipod Shuffle (one of the really little ones) for a birthday present.

She told me that she tried unsuccessfully many times to use it until she gave up trying and simply left it on the bedroom dresser and forgot about it.

One day her husband asked how she liked it her new ipod. She told him that couldn't even remember where she put it. She knew where the battery was, but she didn't know where the device itself was.

He replied in typical husband fashion with "Oh, good." A little later he returned and asked her "What do you mean you know where the battery is?" He went on to explain to her that what she thought was the battery was actually the ipod itself!

The postage stamp sized thing she assumed to be a battery was the gadget that held over 200 songs. It was a case of mistaken identity because she didn't know the difference between the power source and storage device.

Sometimes people fail to catch that difference in church. Many churches are simply functioning as storage devices. They store people in the pews but those same parishioners seem powerless in their walk with their creator.

Some churches credit a strong children's program or vital preaching as its core of strength. But, the reality is that the strength of any church is its connection to Jesus Christ. A church that knows and loves Jesus has what it needs to be relevant in our culture today because he is the power source for all we do. If you haven't been to church for a while, maybe it's time to try it again. Just make sure you look for a church that knows the difference between what it does and who it loves. See you in church.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.