I heard tale of a man who was driving by a chemical plant with his young children in his vehicle. As they passed by the plant the man glanced at his children and asked a question, “do y’all have any idea what they do inside that facility”? To which the youngest child eagerly exclaimed….”of course we know dad, it’s so obvious”. Well out of curiosity the father asked the young child back, “well, what do they do there sweetie?” “WHY!!! THEY MAKE SMOKE DADDY!!!” she eagerly exclaimed. I’m certain that the father smiled as he heard her simple explanation, but this story struck a chord with me because it so totally represents the modern day Christian conservative persona.
The reality is that the Bishop Ticona plant actually produces plastics and sells the byproducts to other companies. But to the innocent child all she could see was the tops of the cooling towers silhouetted in the sky, and the massive stacks as they billowed out clouds of smoke and steam. To someone who is unfamiliar with the plant, to the untrained eye, that’s all that is observed…just smoke. It’s not like the plant does any sort of ad campaign or sends folks out into the neighborhoods to let us know what the heck they’re doing behind those massive fences. They don’t spend money to go door to door to educate the public about their functionality. Why would they, it wouldn’t be cost effective and would deviate from the actual goal of their facility. Well, unlike that chemical plant, what they don’t do is exactly what we SHOULD BE DOING.
Now I’m going to ask you, my reading audience, a similar question. When the world looks at you what do they see as being produced in both your life as well as the body of Christ? Are we producing qualities that others can benefit from? When your community looks at your church, is it just another building that gets filled on Sunday morning? Are you a good show on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s? Are you an outreach and inspiration to your community? Are we being productive and proactive or are we simply filling pews? I guess to really dumb this question down I could just ask this……ARE WE BEING PRODUCTIVE OR ARE WE JUST BLOWING SMOKE OUT THE STACKS???