At our Wednesday night bible study we learned a new phrase: “Roof-tile Syndrome.” This is a phrase that author and pastor Mark Buchanan thought of when he looked at the way many churches operate. Roof-tile Syndrome is what happens when we and or our practices become barriers to people experiencing the love, hope, healing, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
In Mark chapter 2 we are told about some men that carried their paralytic friend to Jesus in hope that He would heal him. There was a problem. They could not get through the doorway because it was barricaded with people. These men were quite determined so they literally tore the roof off and lowered the man down to Jesus. This must have been quite a show. Jesus was impressed with the faith of these men and He healed and forgave their friend. The really sad part of this story is that in the midst of great faith and a miracle the religious people of the day aren’t found rejoicing afterwards. They engage in a full blown argument.
Truth is we are all a little prone to roof-tile syndrome. Many church-goers today would begin to ask questions. Couldn’t they just wait until the crowds left and go through the door like everyone else? That’s the way I did it, after all. Why should we change for others? That roof has been there for years. Why did we have to move it? Who’s going to pay to fix the roof?
There is nothing in the story to indicate that these men were anything but Godly men that wanted to get their friend to Jesus. I am sure they would repair the roof themselves. They were not concerned with the cost. They saw a way through the obstacles and brought their friend in contact with the living Lord.
My experience is that people get upset when the “roof-tiles” are moved around. We like things as they have been. Is it going to cost? If we are going to reach out to people in our community, the answer is yes. The questions we need to answer are: What are the “roof-tiles” in our church? Are we willing to “tear apart” the roof so others can come to Jesus?