My disclaimer for this post is that this is just what I desire for my church community, and though I think it’s well founded (hence why I’m sharing it in a post), I am not pronouncing personal judgment on the vast array of churches that don’t operate this way.
Every year or so I get on a big kick – one year it was about the idea of God’s plan for your life. If you look at my 2006 journal you’ll see this subject everywhere (note: I am not posting my journal on the internet, so the “if you’ll look” privilege is reserved for stalkers and hackers). The year after you may have seen a lot about the idea of the saving of souls from hell. Following that was me trying to figure out the Kingdom of God business.
This year’s theme is church. I’ve spent the last year evaluating what we call church – a service where the majority of the church sit and have something presented and performed in front of them. I’ve examined how churches spend their money, why almost all churches rely on weekly sermons/teachings, and all the tactics churches have adapted to try to attract new people, to name some off the top of my head.
*Note to pastors in my town: in the winter season – do your service at 7pm so I can ski all day instead of only having 3 hours on the mountain after your service ends. If your church is all about community – then realize your community is checking the snow alerts during your lecture.
Some of my rules for what I want in my church experience are as follows:
- The pastor should be able to recognize if someone new came. I’ve been to several churches where I never met the pastor (though I can’t solely blame him, to be sure.) I want my pastor to actually know me, even just a little bit. If a pastor is best a shepherd – how can he guide his flock if he doesn’t even know which sheep are his/hers?
- I want my church to emphasize getting to know one another, and hopefully relying on another. Otherwise I can’t even call it church – its more like a class w’ere all taking together. If I find I don’t want to talk to the people I’m in church with – then there’s a problem somewhere.
- I want my church to reflect my involvement, just a little bit. What I mean is, how can I consider myself apart of this community if its not even evident I’m in it? I want to be involved in a community, not entertained. Nor do I want someone guessing what “message” I need to hear each week. The church should reflect all of its people, not only its extroverted people who are willing to branch out and shape the direction of the church service. (This is why the post is called Take The Power Back.
- I want my church to have rough people hanging out in the back. If its the type of church where the lower class, the drop outs, the alcoholics, the beggars don’t feel comfortable going, then for me, maybe I shouldn’t feel comfortable going either. Though they can make church a little more awkward, we’re better for their presence.
I have oh so much more to add, but let’s just have that be a starter. What is your list of musts? Its okay if good coffee and a band that doesn’t suck are on there, because Folders and a crappy band don’t point me to God either. Also, feel free to critique my list!