Another one bites the dust!
No, I’m not talking about the line from the famous song, I’m talking about my experience with churches lately. My husband and I have been searching for a church…and we’ve been informed that we are looking for, doesn’t exist any more. At first, I thought those telling us this were wrong, but I’m beginning to wonder if they aren’t right after all.
Finding a church isn’t easy. Most have you fill out a visitor’s card upon your first foray into a service and send you a nice welcoming letter the week after you have been there. That’s that. If you go back, several people may try to learn your name. That, however is as far as it goes.
So I began pondering what we were actually looking for in a church. Here is what I cam up with:
- Our church has to read and preach from Scripture–and that means using the BIBLE…not a powerpoint or tablet version. It is fine to utilize technology to enhance teaching but please don’t make it your entire function. Oh, and NO, I do not care about your being on Facebook! In fact, you are doing a disservice to your congregation. If you have no wish to talk to people face-to-face, you are one pretty POOR shepherd!
- They have to honor our age and sing at least SOME hymns. You know, the kind that have meaning. Praise chorus’ are fine but singing them all the time makes us think of Christian elevator music.
- The Pastor must have enough respect for God that HE, at least, wears his best. I get that churches are trying to appeal to the ‘young’ and that God does not respect the outer person…but what happened to our respecting God and wearing our very BEST.
- Tone down the drums, keyboards, guitars, etc. or provide a service for those of us who have trouble hearing and don’t wish to come home with a headache.
But second to reading, teaching, and preaching from Scripture is this new attitude of ‘What can you do for US’ coming from pulpits and churches rather than ‘What can WE do for YOU.’
This current attitude is a big deal. No longer do ministers make an effort to get to know their people. Instead, it seems that it is up to the people to ‘ask’ to see the minister if they have problems.
We all know that humans have problems with pride–we either have too much of it, or too little. But churches are losing numbers quickly, members even quicker, and their attitude is: Why aren’t our churches growing?
Well, maybe the answer is that you aren’t doing a very good job. I have yet to see a sheep signal to a shepherd that they are going to wander away. They simply go. Mainly because the shepherd is too busy elsewhere and isn’t keeping an eye on all his sheep.
I hate to admit defeat and failure and I’m one stubborn old lady…but right now, I’m about as low as low can get over what is happening to the body of Christ here in America. Maybe we have had it far to easy. We don’t have to worship under the penalty of death. We no longer respect tradition or the lessons of those who have gone before us. We don’t memorize Scripture as we are assured the internet will be with us always even unto the end of the earth (um, if you don’t see a sarcasm in that line, you’d best turn to Matthew 28:20!
1st Timothy 6: 11& 12-But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and has professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Those who have declared themselves to be the ‘ministers’ of God would be well-warned to get back to working at MINISTERING as a full-time profession. If they can’t, they’d better be prepared to examine themselves to see whether they still qualify as God’s shepherds here on earth.
I guess, hubby and I will begin our search again…but it won’t be easy. Perhaps, we are looking for what doesn’t exist any more. That is sad. And maybe, that says a lot about what is happening to the state of religion in America.