Archives for posts with tag: Easter
Church - QfamilyBoy do I remember Easter Sunday growing up. All it takes is a flip through my Mom’s old photo albums looking at the pictures taken of me with my gloves—YEP little white gloves—my paten leather shoes, my frilly yellow dress, bonnet, and of course my Easter basket! Woah!
You know, Easter Sunday has one of the highest attendance records of any service of the year in most churches. Some people go to church only at Christmas and Easter and I read that those types of churchgoers are known as CEO’s which stands for Christmas and Easter Only!
But on the flip side, there are many, many people who go to church consistently as a source of strength and community. In fact—for black people—our faith, our values and beliefs have roots firmly entrenched in the church. For decades, the Black church has been THE place that the Black community relied on.
But I’m wondering if things are changing? Do you think we’ve gotten to a place in which we’ve gone OVERBOARD with our church connection?
There’s a brand new addiction surfacing that I want to talk about tonight. It’s called CHURCH ADDICITON. Mad Church Disease is on the rise ya’ll! Church Addicts are at church almost every time the church is open, working, serving, ministering regardless of the cost to one’s family, job, health or social life.
HOW MUCH is TOO MUCH when you’re talking about church? Is there such a thing as being “addicted” to ministry?
In an article entitled “IS THE CHURCH AN ADDICTIVE ORGANIZATION?” I was fascinated by the author’s discussion of churches in the 21st Century. Anne, the author, talks about a minister’s adult daughter who said, “my Dad was never home…he was always working for the church…even when he was home, he was “in the study” and we kids were not allowed to disturb him. If any of us complained about never seeing him, this minister’s daughter said, he always had the excuse that he was doing “the Lord’s work.”
I do believe that people equate their work in the church to working for the Lord. And THAT’S where the problem begins. Does the Lord require work for Him in the church? What about if you have a spouse or children or a job, how much is TOO much when it comes to church?
Now before you label me anti-church, or worse, anti-Christ or anti-God, please know that in just about four weeks I’m graduating from Seminary with a Master’s in Practical Theology. I’m a chaplain in a hospital here in Atlanta and for years I was on staff at an Atlanta-area church. I raise these questions and this provocative discussion out of deep concern for church and for those attending and professing the need for faith and God in their lives.
I want to know have we and are we crossing the proverbial line from good intentions into addiction? Have we become addicted to the “feelings” that we get in OUR CHURCH? The music, the tradition, the history or celebrity? How much is TOO MUCH when it comes to “THE LORD’S WORK” in our churches?
We’ve got to be able to look into our own mirrors and ask the tough questions. I can’t help but wonder what’s happening if our families end up feeling like that minister’s daughter felt? Let me tell you what she said in conclusion in that article. She said, “My dad, the minister, was respected for being a hard worker, but he was never loved.” She said, “He died in his late 40s and no one ever knew him. He did not really serve Christ or the church. I now know, she said, he served his disease.”
Wow. If MINISTER’S can be addicted to church and church work, what about the rest of us? Are we so bent on serving in church and serving the church that we are actually fulfilling our own needs instead of God’s?
If you’re maintaining a high level of activity in your church—but your kids are not being cared for or don’t ever see you, that’s a problem. If your bills are going unpaid because you’re supporting the church financially and you are in danger of losing your home or lights, THAT’S A PROBLEM. If you feel like you have no value unless you’re serving within the church, THEN SOMETHING IS WRONG!
I am your chief empowerment officer JENNIFER KEITT. Listen to the show HERE.
You can take the church addiction QUIZ for free. Just download the ToolKEITT from my website at http://www.jenniferkeitt.com. The Jennifer Keitt Show airs every Sunday 7-8 pm on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B.

 

Churches were PACKED yesterday as millions of Christians around the globe celebrated what is considered the foundation of the Christian faith—the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Of course we call it Easter Sunday. Whether you are a regular church attender or not, yesterday seemingly EVERYBODY’S CHURCH was overflowing!

I couldn’t help but reminisce as my family got ready for church today how very different my current celebration of the Easter holiday is than from when I was a little girl.

I still cringe when I think about the Easter bonnet that my Mom made me wear and the frilly NEW Easter dress with patent leather shoes! Getting ready for EASTER was a huge deal…starting with the stuffed easter baskets my brother’s and I received, the nasty dyed eggs and Sunday Easter dinner. Of course between all of that was church! All of my Sunday school classmates and I, had to memorize and recite scripture at the Easter performance. And I was only able to breathe a sigh of relief when the “Mothers” of the church waved their fans or handkerchiefs along with a loud “AMEN BABY” after each child’s performance no matter how good or bad they were! Church—well, the Black church—has been as much a part of my existence as honestly, the air that I breathe.

In fact, for many, many African-Americans CHURCH stands for all that is culturally relevant to us. It’s the place that’s had ENORMOUS political, spiritual and economic influence…it’s been the place of refuge and sanctuary, struggle and the launch pad for civil rights…the Black church is a story still being written, it’s a story of constant change and has always been the place of cohesion in our community.

Do you know how many BLACK FILMS have scenes and/or story lines that include characters, people, steeples or preachers in them? Remember the prodigal daughter SUGE AVERY in the COLOR PURPLE when she returns to her father’s CHURCH hoping to reconcile? You are sure to find a church scene in most of Tyler Perry’s movies, like the “Father Can You Hear Me?” scene in DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN …then of course there’s THE PREACHER’S WIFE, THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS, SISTER ACT 2 …even WHITE comedian GARY OWEN talks about his experience with BLACK CHURCH!

We laugh, because we all KNOW, that’s BLACK CHURCH…that’s core to who we are. But recently I’ve been thinking and want to ask you tonight…a very pointed question, SO WHERE’S GOD IN THE BLACK CHURCH? If church is INTEGRAL to who we are as a people, as a race, as a culture, does that mean that GOD is integral to our lives? Does the statement, “I go to church” mean, “I believe in God?” Does it mean “I live for God?” Are GOD and BLACK CHURCH synonyms? Or here’s a question…does the church actually DISTRACT US from God?

Current research from the BARNA organization says Blacks had the HIGHEST score on 10 of the 12 belief indicators. We score higher than ANY OTHER RACE on the following:

  • We believe God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect creator of the universe who rules the world today…
  • We believe that the single most important purpose of your life is to love God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul…
  • We believe your religious faith is very important in your life…

And yet I wonder are we really as SPIRITUAL as ALL of the research says? If so, then WHY are Black folks still on the bottom of so many lists? Poverty, single parents, disease, education…and the list goes on and on. So Where’s God? Is the Black church still relevant in our lives? Are we living what we believe?

That’s what I’m talking about today! It’s time we spoke up and spoke out…every time there is a crisis in our community, church is where we go. The Travon Martin saga is a great current example of this…yet many churches are struggling to keep members…many congregations are challenged with their church leadership and church folk issues…many young African Americans don’t even go to church or believe in God…

There’s a disconnect somewhere and I want to know what you think! Call me 404-906-7720 and leave your message, I will possibly put you on the air! My phone hotline is always open, today answer the question WHERE’S GOD IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY/black church?? Where is He in your life? Are the statistics true…are Black people REALLY as faith-driven as they say? This is a great conversation and I want you to get in on it right now, CALL ME 404-906-7720.

I am your CHIEF EMPOWERMENT OFFICER, Jennifer Keitt! And The Jennifer Keitt Show airs Sunday evenings from 7-8 pm ET on KISS 104, Atlanta’s R&B!

 

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