Child #1: Dad, I’ve challenged you to do the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS.
Child #2: Yeah – and you haven’t done it yet. What’s your problem? Why aren’t you doing it?
Me: Why are we doing this?
Child #1 & #2: It’s for ALS.
Me: And that stands for what?
Child #1 & #2: Ummm, well….uhhh…. some kind of disease thing? Maybe?
Me: And there you are…..
The irony of all this? I’m guessing 79% of the people who are doing this challenge have no idea what ALS even is. It’s fun. It’s a ‘good cause.’ It’s something to post on Facebook and twitter and Instagram. And it’s a great reprieve on a hot day. I guess you live with a few million people not knowing why in order to get all the publicity.
(By the way, unless you’ve been living under a rock, the #ALSChallenge is to give money towards ALS research and bring awareness to this disease by pouring a bucket of ice water over your head then challenging a couple of more people to do the same, creating a pyramid scheme of non-profit popularity.)
It’s a bit funny to think about this but I wonder how many people have this same kind of relationship with church?
Think about it. The typical trip to church includes a whole host of things that probably most people have no idea why we are doing it but everybody else and it doesn’t really cause any harm, so what the heck. The offering, communion, baptism, singing, praying, scripture reading, listening to a message, bible study – I mean…have you really stopped and seriously thought about – why are we doing this?
The reasons are there and they are deep. The reasons give deep meaning and importance to the action. I’d argue that understanding the why is what really makes the action meaningful. But how many times do we stop and ask – why?
This coming Sunday, we are asking the question. It’s Serve All Sunday. We are looking at our value of Serve All and asking the question of people who serve – why? Why do it? What’s the benefit? Is it worth it? Come join us on Sunday and experience the why.
(By the way, ALS is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is often called “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.)