Overheard in the Last Week

Perhaps this will become a weekly column:  “Overheard in Church in the Last Week.”  

This is what random people have shared with me in the course of doing professional Christian ministry in the past week:

  • I just want to come to church, sit in a comfortable pew, hear a good sermon, and go home.”
  • I’m preaching on the high holy days of Associate Pastors.”  (The Sunday after Easter)
  • Could you ask our pastor not to cry during the sermons?
Yep.  This is what people share with me.
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6 responses to “Overheard in the Last Week

  1. Ah, yes. I have a file folder full of sermons on doubting Thomas from my associate days.

  2. That first one is why the church is dying.

  3. I would humbly suggest that the church’s problems have far more to do with Jan’s conversation with Steve, noted in an earlier post, and the complete disconnect most people feel between what happens in a church building and what happens in their lives.

  4. Ljcollins, isn’t that two sides of the same coin? People feel a “complete disconnect . . . between what happens in a church building and what happens in their lives” seems to be the non-churched’s complaint that religion/church/Christianity is not relevant to their lives. The person who only wants to hear a good sermon and then go home is basically saying I like that religion/church/Christianity is not relevant to their lives. Why do you see a great distinction between these situations?

  5. I don’t think so, Tim. Nobody has to get up and go to church on Sunday. We are long past the days when that is the socially expected thing to do. So the fact that church means enough to this person that they are willing to show up, even if they don’t always get the good sermon they were hoping for, speaks volumes. When I was going through the roughest time in my life, I might have said the exact same thing as this parishioner. And if I had, the response that I hope I would have gotten would have been something like, “Tell me more” rather than “You’re the problem.” In my current situation, I live in a vibrant, civic-minded, spiritually alive community. And nobody I know here could tell you the difference between a Baptist and a Greek Orthodox, nor do they care. For the most part they don’t go to church and it isn’t because they are lazy or ignorant or self-centered or spiritually backwards. Some of them grew up in the church, many of them didn’t. They simply don’t see church as something that matters.

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