Thursday, July 19, 2007

Roof Tile Syndrome

Roof Tiles
I was introduced to this phrase coined by Mark Buchanan. You can read his article here. It refers to the story of Jesus healing the paralized man in Mark 2:1-12. Unfortunately, I am somewhat familiar with this syndrome. Buchanan defines it as:
Roof-tile Syndrome is when we are so caught up in the preaching of Jesus, we turn our backs to the needs of those still outside the building. We become barriers and not gateways. It's when we care more about keeping things intact than about restoring lives that are shattered. It's when we're more upset when stuff gets broken than excited when the broken are mended. It's when church gets reduced to the preaching of Jesus so that we fail to notice that we're seeing very little of the forgiveness and healing of Jesus. It is when we are so fearful about upsetting the religious folk (or homeowners) in our midst that we stop taking risks to get people to Jesus.
I have attended churches with this syndrome. And, of course, if you expand the definition a little, you not only see it in churches but in business, familes -- life in general.

Why is this? Because we always seem to forget that God is BIG and I am not. It is not about me.

Over the last 20 years, I have seen Roof Tile Syndrome:
  • In a church that had people unwilling to go one Sunday because there was no message, just music.
  • In a company that was trying to change the culture (in my opinion, for the better) but people would need to learn new job skills.
  • In families who are unwilling to accept the childrens new husbands or wives.
The funny thing is, as much as change sometimes hurts and the process of ripping apart the roof-tiles is uncomfortable, I want to be a part of a family and church willing to do that for the Kingdom of God.

3 comments:

Scott said...

Amen.

Although, the flip side is the story of Mary and Martha.

Scott said...

Let me clarify -
You quote Buchanan:
Roof-tile Syndrome is when we are so caught up in the preaching of Jesus, we turn our backs to the needs of those still outside the building.

It reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha. Mary was apparently oblivious to the needs of Martha. All she was very caught up in the preaching of Jesus.

And ultimately she was commended for it.

I wonder how the two sides mesh . . .

Joel Frederick said...

Ah! More to think about.