So I have this app on my phone that allows me to flip through the day’s news headlines and then click on a headline if I want to read the story. So I was scanning the headlines the other day and here is a sampling of some of the headlines for September 14, 2010:
- Tropical Storm Karl Forms in Caribbean
- Italy Seizes Billions in Suspected Mafia Goods
- Egg Farm Knew of Salmonella Investigators Say
- American Freed by Iran Arrives in Oman
- Eiffel Tower Reopens After Bomb Threat
- 30 Insurgents Killed in Afghanistan Ahead of Vote
- Starbucks to Put 12-OZ Tall Drinks Back on Drive-Through Menus
Do you notice anything out of place there? We have major national and international news including bomb threats, freed hostages, killings, storms, a possible cover-up, and then there is this headline focused on drive-through coffee menus? Now I know Starbucks is a pretty big deal, but I just had to laugh when I came to that last headline. I could see having a Starbucks as a news headline if ownership changed hands, or if there was a major change in the corporate philosophy, but we are just talking about their menu board. I find that a little ridiculous for such a minor point to be considered such a big deal that it becomes a headline. When you take a moment to consider the impact of putting 12-oz tall drinks back on the drive-through menus compared to a bomb threat and insurgents killed and a tropical storm, the Starbuck’s drink menu just seems to pale in comparison.
But as I was thinking about that, I realized that we have a tendency to do the same thing in Church at times. We take minor things and give them a major emphasis. Like for instance, one of the things that the church became known for over the last 15 years was their “worship wars.” This was because many churches went through a transition from one style of music to another. The transition is fine, but the fact that in many cases it became a war is a great example of how we major in minor things too often.
I don’t want to step on toes here, but the kind of music we use to worship God is not as important as the number of people in our community who need us to “be the church.” Too often we spend more time talking about the kind of carpeting to put in the new sanctuary, the kind of food to serve at our next banquet, the kind of coffee to have at our fellowship time, and even the kind of book to study at our next group meeting than we do on the kind of lives we need to live to glorify God in our community.
I want to challenge us to not get caught up in the minors. That doesn’t mean we let things fall through the cracks, or that we ignore details. I believe we are to do what we do with excellence, but let’s not become so focused on eternally insignifcant details that we miss out on what God is calling us to focus on.