Holy moly, what a title!
Alright grab a spoon, lets digg in. Now before you think “Oh boy more assisination of character of mister mc-pastor face, just find a better church or don’t go at all already”. I do want to note that I do this because I want to heed people from damage that’s been done to me.
You’ve heard it before that a warned man is worth two. I actually hate that saying, it’s so old fashion and it always seems to be used in a context of “I told you this, now respect my superiority”. At any rate I’m going to be a hypocrite and tell you some stuff now. (you can respect my questionable superiority if you want to afterwards…I wouldn’t recommend it though).
I’m in a time of winding down from a church community that, I dare say so myself, helped build from it’s early days. I was a young naive believer that attended every service and gave it my all. And it’s the first time I’ve come across this situation. Friends of mine that are in the same boat, or rather used to be, have more experience and aren’t as surprised at all of this as I am.
They kind of treat it as “oh well, lets move onto the next one until that crashes and burns”. And I understand their sentiment and point of view at this, since most of them have been raised christian. I wasn’t in a sense that my parents never forced me anything in terms of believing this or that, or going to church. We just live life and make the best of it. Which looking back now, I might as well have kept on doing even though I did learn allot during my stint with Christianity. A lot of things about forgiveness, and for those behind the pulpit the words “practice what you preach” comes to mind. And also a lot about how you don’t run a community, learn from the mistakes of others so to speak.
Here’s some of those mistakes:
-Keep it human/keep it fun:
From time to time I’d try to break the mold a bit by having a little fun…which was frowned upon because church is serious business and all fun is off the devil. For example one time I brought a watering can to church (an empty one) to use during prayer as we “poured the holy spirit” onto someone. Nope, they didn’t like that.
Or the time I’d show up to church wearing bearface slippers…Nope, they didn’t like that.
Or whenever the preacher asks a question towards the crowd, regardless of the question shout back “Jesus is the answer, it always is”…try it you’ll get some hilarious results and make the congregation realize how futile most of the preached material really is.
-Show some gratitude:
This one goes out to the pastors, deacons, …anyone who feels like they somehow need to have a title of some sort pinned on themselves. This one goes out to all of you, but especially pastors and similar types of leaders. If the people from church help out with something, no matter how small or insignificant. Say thanks every once in a while.
I can’t tell you how many times I spent my valuable free time setting up sounds systems for church, trying to get their podcast recording working, picking up a mixingdesk, dropping in on a instrument when the “oh so stellar” worship team isn’t complete. Only to get the stink eye from the pastor when the music actually started getting some feeling to it. Or even just cleaning up without them asking me for it, locking the door behind them and turning off the lights….All of that stuff without a single sign of appreciation. The congregation ppl are nice, but the ones in charge…that’s a different story. And that seems to go for most christian organizations around here. Grumpy people with a feeling of entitlement.
-“your flock” is more important:
Another one for the leaders. I’ve seen it up close, the sweet and innocent christian couple that wants to build a christian community. They cared, and gave it their all trying to help people from their worldviews and beliefs, and regardless of what those beliefs are, I can at least appreciate an honest effort to help others. But…
As the community grew into a church, they wanted more connections to other churches, to other leaders, preachers, programs, networks, events, …
And the time spent on the local people made way for some sort of delusion of rock-stardom within this sub community. Where they’re too busy sucking up to supposedly big shot pastors from around the globe. And sound theological debate made way for a charismatic parade of prophets (spot the false ones at your own discretion). At any rate, if you wanna serve your people…serve your people. Building a network and reputation by sucking up to the big shots should be the very least of your worries (take a BIG note here all of you evangelical/charismatic pastors).
Don’t swallow just anything your favorite pastor/ supposed friend preaches. Challenge him, let him know you’re watching his steps and taking note of his theological views while critically analyzing them. Anyone who’s standing behind the pulpit week after week quickly finds himself running out of material and that’s when they turn too:
-Copying from other preachers their books. And if you know christian literature from the christian bookstore you know it’s lazy, unimportant bull crap that’s there just because.
-Making up their own stuff as they go along, and usually it starts with something small to break the mold but as they gotta have a little shock value every once in a while they up the craziness of their statements…until they run into a wall when you confront them with it.
-Everybody is awesome:
I’ve seen it plenty of times, the people who live their live more “on fire for the lord” or “christian” … in other words people who live like christian versions of Ken and Barbie. Tend to get more “real” friendship from the church leaders (even if it’s little real to begin with). The guy who gets hung over every once in a while gets the pitty friendship until they start feeling like “dang this guy doesn’t seem to wanna change”. If you don’t see the pastor hanging out with a hooligan of some sort…avoid this church. If you see the pastor only high fiving Ken and Barbie couples, that should set of your bullshit detector.
-Go play outside with the other kids:
And finally if the church isn’t capable of going outside and being among “the world” without being awkward about it. Or if they can’t go out and actually do a humanitarian act of selflessness every once in a while, call them out on it. The world has had enough of religious hypocrites and so have I.
In closing, don’t get too attached to churches, they are bound to disappoint and fall apart after a while anyway. Probably God’s way of saying “this shit ain’t healthy, move on and try again”.
This is Angryfish guy saying
because why not.