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Church isn’t for you ... Reflection for October 23, 2014

posted Oct 23, 2014, 11:10 AM by Parish Administrator


The Rev. Erik Parker posted a great piece on his blog: “7 Reasons Church Isn’t for you”.  It is

The Rev. Erik Parker

amazing food for thought.  I  share it with you. KL+


 

"Like just about everything else in world, Christians and non-Christians are consuming church. More and more, churches and pastors feel pressured to attract and captivate people - code language for entertain the people into the pews.


 

Here are 7 reasons why church isn’t for you:

  1. The Music isn’t for you. We all have opinions on music. Contemporary or Traditional. Praise Songs or Hymns. Piano or Organ or Worship Band. Upbeat or slowed down. But the music isn’t to appease our preferences. Music supports the bible readings. Music speaks to the church season or occasion. Music is supposed to help us tell God’s story, not be the same stuff we choose to hear all week on our iPods.
     
  2. The Preaching isn’t for you.  Sermons are a central part of worship, and we want them to be things we want to hear. But preaching isn’t to appease our need to be entertained. Preaching opens up the scriptures to us.  And Preaching reminds us of God’s promise of new life in Christ.
     
  3. The Building isn’t for you. Buildings are supposed to fit all our needs with comfortable pews, big gyms, space for youth, Sunday School classrooms, nice bathrooms and lots of space for coffee after worship. Churches build, renovate and adapt their spaces to meet our demands. Often a few volunteers toil away, year after year to keep buildings in good repair But Buildings are not for serving our comfort. Buildings provide space for people to gather. Buildings allow communities to be together. The Church is the people, not the building.
     
  4. The Staff isn’t for you. Churches spend most of their budgets on staff, and so we often have high expectations. Staff are expected to always be courteous and kind, yet they get a lot complaining and criticism. But church staff are not the hired help for churches. The staff’s job is to support the congregation as they live out God’s mission. Staff does the in-between jobs that allow people to serve Jesus. Church staff remind us that God’s work is done with our hands and feet, and that God’s work never ends.
     
  5. Communication isn’t for you. Churches are expected to make us aware of everything that is going on. We all want to be in the know, and we want to be kept informed. We expect Church communication to be working well - all the time. Whenever we feel out of the loop, we complain about ‘communication problems’. But church communication isn’t for keeping us in the gossip chain. Churches communicate to let their members and their communities know what God is doing in their little piece of the Kingdom.
     
  6. Visitors aren’t for you. We all want our pews full and offering plates overflowing. We want visitors to come and give money, become new members, serve on committees, and volunteer at the soup kitchen once in a while. Visitors are people. People who have come to us seeking a community... seeking God. Visitors are people with whom we can begin relationships with and people that we can invite into our lives.
     
  7. The Pastor isn’t for you. Pastors are not for being Christians on behalf of the congregation. Pastors proclaim the good news and give out the means of grace in the sacraments. Pastors equip people for their ministry. Pastors help people to hear God’s call in their lives. Pastors help congregations live out God’s mission in the world. Pastors do what is good for the congregation, not what makes people happy.

Sometimes we forget why we are ‘The Church’ in the first place. Sometimes we treat the church like all the other things we consume daily in our lives, and so we try to shape and form the church in our own image. We want a church that meets our preferences, like personalized settings on our computer.

 

Church isn’t for you.

You are for the Church."

 

http://millennialpastor.net/2013/11/21/7-reasons-church-isnt-for-you/


 

Kym+

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