user dependence?

this was not a fun day in regards to my interaction with certain industries’ user friendliness. first, i spent a decent part of my morning visiting a new vet (oh how i miss our vet in baton rouge). our oldest cat has high blood pressure and our oldest dog needed some vaccinations. it wasn’t a very cool visit. the pain didn’t come from either one of the pets being sick, but instead the pain came from the dealing with a vet tech whose job is apparently to try and “up sale” everybody you walks in the door. i actually spent more time talking with the tech trying to sell me additional and more expensive services, than i did with the vet explaining how my pets are doing. the vet tech wanted me to get a more expensive heart worm test than the one that is usually done. why? because it picks up an additional disease. when i asked what the treatment would be if one of my dogs was found with the disease her response was that the vast majority of time they don’t do anything. why would i want to get a test that would show me something that we then aren’t going to do anything about? when i asked for a prescription script for my dogs’ heartworm medicine she tried to convince me out of that because the drug companies warranty doesn’t work when the drugs are bought online. i told her that every real product produced had < ahref="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_warranty#Fitness_for_a_particular_purpose">an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose and that’s all i would need. that’s when she responded with “well we’ll price match their price.” great, why didn’t you tell me that sooner rather than just trying to scare me with a lame treat? anyhow, it wasn’t a fun trip to the vet.

in the afternoon had my second non-user friendly experience. the coolant crossover hose on my mazda sprung a leak. the cross over house is a 5″ long hose that connects two metal fitting that are approximately 1″ apart from each other. it’s not a big deal to replace other than it was placed in a position that is nigh impossible to reach. since, i know that about half of a car’s design is making sure that a good number of it’s parts will have to be replaced at appropriate times you would think that cars would be a little easier for the non mechanic to work on. of course, the goal is for non-mechanics not to be able to work on the cars. instead, they want everyone to have to come in and pay for a dealer mechanic to replace the 5″ hose and other various parts. maintenance on our vehicles is a great source of income only if people aren’t able to work on their cars by themselves. so the car manufactures make the cars impossible to work on. it drives me nuts.

anyhow, these two experiences got me to thinking (in addition to just getting me mad). i wonder how often within church we inadvertently try to force people to have to rely on us? i would look at the vet and the car manufacture as allies if i felt like they were trying to help me rather than just get me to have to depend upon them more and more. shouldn’t the church work on helping people to live out the faith outside the walls of the church? it seems like we sometimes teaching people that our job is to provide the worship opportunities and their job is just to come to them. shouldn’t we be teaching people how to worship not only in the church but to worship in all of life? shouldn’t we be teaching people how to serve within our communities and neighborhoods instead of just how to serve within the church? sometimes it seems like we are teaching people that we’ll provide the mission trips and then they can serve.

we should be helping people to live out the faith when their within the church building and even more importantly outside of it. i believe the term for this is holistic – faith in JESUS effects everything we do and are. the church should be a sending and training area. we should be helping people to be dependent upon JESUS rather than more and more dependent upon an institution. then we would be people’s allies in their walk with CHRIST.

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