Monday, August 20, 2007

Disappointment and Sadness

So yesterday morning I went to a church that I used to attend as a 20 something year old. It is part of the same denomination I am in now.

I left feeling saddened and VERY disappointed.
Jim called and asked me my thoughts of the church service and my first response to him was I would not choose to attend this church. That the sermon didn't make sense. That I liked his preaching way better.

Numbers wise about the same number as what go to our church. Many more children which was really nice to see. A pastor that greets newcomers (have to admit, as a visitor I really liked that personal touch), and who has obvious expectations for his church (to be the fastest growing church) - which I wasn't so keen on as churches shouldn't be in competition with each other and that's how his statement seemed to me.

I have always disliked children being sent out of the service, and this church does that. It does, I think, a disservice to both children and adults when they are sent out. Though perhaps in this case, they might have actually learned something more than they would have in the service.

I know, that sounds awful doesn't it?

I DO NOT fear for the Christians in this church that are well-established in their faith. I don't. They can wait this pastor out. But newbie Christians? Oh my...they are NOT learning the true word of God here. They aren't, at least if this service is true to how things are in this church and from reports from older members there, it is. So are they Christians? or are they thinking they are Christians while believing a lie ever so carefully hidden?

I was telling my parents that
1. the sermon made no sense to the scripture
2. statements were made that were close to the truth but somehow rang in my head as "off". Could I always tell what was off? no, but I"m sure my Jim would have said right off the top of this head... THIS IS WRONG.

As I have pondered this I have these additional thoughts:
3. I felt "odd" in this church. Like I was sitting through something that was felt pretend, and that was so very sad to me.
4. half of the sermon felt "stolen" to me. Like I had heard these words used somewhere else, in a different context or something.

I'll take my church of old folks any day over a church filled with young folks because it doesn't feel pretend. I know that people truly do want to worship God here even if they struggle with it sometimes, it does feel real most Sundays.

I don't know, perhaps I am spoiled by having a pastor who preaches in a logical manner, whose passage ALWAYS fits the message that he preaches. He generally doesn't make me go "HUH?" And when he does, it is either my lack of attention OR he goes on to further explain what he means so the HUH? goes away. :)

But I am ever so disappointed and so sad for this church. Yes, it's profile has changed from being predominately old to be predominately younger. But at what cost? It's has lost some solid Christian members to other churches, it has gained youth, but the messages given is a bunch of slop. So in the end, has it really gained? What has it really gained?????


jen elslager said...

This is a sad thing. This is something like what I told you we've experienced so much around here. I can take a lot of things, but I can't take it when the message is watered down, or not even resembling truth.

Holly said...

I found that I got really used to my husband's preaching, too...and enjoyed it so much. I think I found it easy to compare his style...which I really liked (very logical and orderly and well thought out, too) to someone who's style who really grated against me.

So sorry about the church you's probably all too common!