Thursday, February 11, 2010

What If You Were the Pastor?

You just walked out the front door of your church. How do you feel? Was it a good service? Do you feel the presence of God? Are you looking forward to going back?

I received some comments from folks that really like their churches. That is great to hear! More often I hear from folks that are in the fringes, or not attending at all. That's one reason I am pushing for reform.

There are lots of different reasons why folks are down on church. Some do not feel significant in church, others don't feel that their church is really doing everything they should be according to thew Bible - others are just hungry for more of God and thirsty for the things of Jesus and can't seem to find it.

If you can't be part of the solution, then don't complain. I like that.

We all have ideas of what the perfect church should be - and many would say there isn't one. Certainly the catalyst for our church solutions should be from the Lord - His wisdom - not ours. It is often true that the impetus for other ideas come from our culture, our experience, our denominational background and our own observations - thinking is a good thing too.

Today I'd like to hear from you - what was your favorite church experience? I want to know what you love about your church. I would also like to hear about a problem in your church that you were part of the solution.

Whether or not you go to church, if you were the pastor, what would be different?

If you don't want to comment - even anonymously, just email me:


photogr said...

What if I were a pastor? Well that will never happen.

What I would like to see is less restraints on God and the Holy Spirit being in the church. I would like to see a church led by God and not by the doctrine set up by the church denomination. I would like to see members more open to people comming into the church for the first time. I would like to see smiling friendly faces greeting me as I walk in the doors. I would like to see less click groups that are inpenetratible. I would like to feel welcomed not ignored or because I seem a bit more charismatic that what they subscribe to.

What would I do to make a difference? Open up a blog to reach out to others that feel the same way. Very difficult to change the course of a beomoth ingrained in old established values and reluctant to change.

So what do I do. At my age, I just go and sing a few songs of worship, listen to what the pastor has to say and go home and pray for insight as to why I feel the way I do.

I might give up on the established church but I will never give up on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I have come too far to ever do that.

David said...

I am with you Larry. What is we could get a little jolt of Heaven Juice before we kick the bucket? That would be cool!

Tracy said...

Thought provoking post.

Here's my go at addressing your questions:

*What was your favorite church experience?
God has repeatedly blessed me through the local church I've belonged to in the various places I've lived. When my sons were young and in AWANAs, I adored volunteering and working with the kids. I enjoy the way kids are so active & look at things in very real ways that are fresh for me. There are few things as wonderful as being able to be part of watching kids grow in their faith. I was also blessed during that time because I was a single mom for several years raising 3 sons; God provided an older man who worked with the youth, who is both a godly man and a man's man type who chose to really be involved with my sons and have a positive impact on their lives. I'll never forget when my oldest son got accepted into West Point - I think this man's joy was absolutely as big as my son and I's. (But to accentuate the point you're making about local churches are people so they are never perfect - in that same church, during that same time I was blessed with my sons in AWANA and that godly male figure for my sons, although the church was large, they had nothing for singles and it was difficult for me to connect in an intimate way for social times with other people. It can be uncomfortable to always be the single one with other families). I've also been so blessed in my current church to be able to open up my home and for the last year have 3 other women who've faithfully shared in praise, Bible study and one another's lives together. Being there for one another through all the challenges of life; during this past year 2 of us have lost jobs, 1 of us had a daughter get married, 1 had a son-in-law get cancer, 1 had a brother who almost died during a series of surgeries, 1 had a mother-in-law have open heart surgery, 1 had to short sell a home, we all had the pastor of the church we attend leave rather suddenly...stuff just happens, and it has been so awesome to be together in it with these other women.

*I want to know what you love about your church.
In this small church in a small, ski resort, town I enjoy that the people are incredibly friendly and very down to earth. I love that every week I hear the Word of God preached from the pulpit and get to join with others to sing songs of praises to God.

*One problem I notice in our church is that it's rather stodgy and traditional in it's approach to women. Ever since we attended the membership class my husband John has made jokes about the way they practically fall at his feet and ignore me (in all fairness John is more outgoing & an eloquent public speaker, but it's not about that so much as a 1940's mentality). I try to help with this by a)Praying and keeping my own heart pure and without "attitude", b)Serving on the leadership team for Women's Ministries and providing a strong woman for God type image for our body and for the young women, have outreach opportunities where women can lead and participate in meaningful activities.

*I never envy pastors. The cool part of their job is that they get to study and share the Word and be there for people. The icky part of their job is that people can be so petty. Through the years of being involved in church I never cease to be amazed at every place I've been that there are people who are just to immersed in being upset over things that are not significant or important (I do try to have God show me if their pettiness is really about some deep seated issue of theirs and if He wants to use me in some way to minister to their pain).

David said...

@Tracy - yeah, that all sounds lie church. Being petty is on my list of the 10 Stupidest Things Christians Do.

I think woman have as much to offer a church as any man - more sometimes because men often get so wrapped up in performance.

I love young people - it always makes me happy to see them grow.

Thanks for taking time to answer the questions.

photogr said...

Don't know about being cool with a jolt of Heaven juice. I have been on fire since a visit to a nature habitat a while back when I felt like I was hit with a base ball bat.

Chris Denning said...

I love a church who has a pastor who is obviously in the word, digging for ever deeper insights into God. I attend my son's church occasionally and every sermon I have ever heard his pastor preach has been full of new nuggets of truth and new challenges on how to live my life as a Christian. When he preaches I don't think of the other guy who should be listening to this message, it challenges me personally every time. Not every church is so blessed.

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