I am human. I have likes and dislikes. I have preferences and predilections. I like historical understandings over hypothetical surmise. I would rather see real people in real situations over contrived and grandiose stories of dubious relevance. I want the real over perception.
I have been accused to stirring up a little dust once and awhile. But sometimes I become dissatisfied with all the plans and programs that live in the dusty edges of the church. They become the more important. The process of church growth seems to leave out the offer of God’s grace. The vital understanding of God is not in the forefront any more. I thirst after the teachings and personal encounters with God and not another emotional pulling at my heart strings by one more repetition of five or six words.
The problem is that everyone of us want to “feel good.” Bless the hearts of preachers and leaders of the church today. They have a weighty calling and ever increasing pressure to “increase the flock.” At issue is the easiest way to get people to come the doors of a church and keep that attendance is cater to the “feel good” motive. Ministers would rather empower with strength than to point out the foibles of a congregation. No one wants their pet sin to be pointed out. Much like the story of the Pastor in a rural farming town as he was shaking every hand as the congregation was going out the back door. One unkempt farmer came up to the Pastor and said, “That was a great message Pastor, it was short and about someone else.”
It is all about programs and studies. If we make the right graph in the monthly board meetings it will be enough to steer the church to success. If we can categorize, pigeon hole, and delegate enough to keep the doors open, then that is good enough. We don’t need spirit filled bible warriors. We don’t need to study to rightly divide the Word of Truth. We just need another subjective well-presented current psychobabble in three points with fill in papers in the bulletin. Don’t ask me to think, just do what is expected and that should be good enough.
Youth and children’s programs are stressed because if kids can be kept happy and entertained, mom and pop are much more likely to stay put. Serious in depth deep dive bible study and sermons about bible doctrine are avoided! Let’s cut down on all that prayer time. The Hymnal is just not relevant anymore. Crank up the canned and amplified music; made up of repeated lyrics set to the world’s latest music. Get toes to tapping and watch visitors come pouring in each Sunday. Then be sure to accentuate the emotional. Touch every psychological button possible with “feel good” sermons and viola! pretty soon a building program will be necessary. If declaring the whole counsel of God while at the same time trying to avoid the flesh is not enough to fill the pews, then let them remain empty! A few grains of wheat should be treasured above a ton of tares!