Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Blogged Church Happenings

There are quite a few blogs that I frequent dealing with church issues this week.

Internet Monk is parting ways with the church at which he's been supplying for seven years:

So I did say I left each Sunday feeling something was wrong, didn’t I? And that’s true. I left each Sunday discouraged with the dwindling numbers and the continued decline of my church. I preach my heart out every week. I wear my heart on my sleeve much more than my people know. I would drive home every week saying to myself, “This has become a situation that is all about you. All about supporting Michael Spencer and family so they will stay. I’m not helping the church. They are helping me. They are dying while I am treated well. That’s not right. That’s not ministry.”

Caroline was banned from presenting a seminar at a church because they found out she was affiliated with the emerging church. Seriously.

Greg posts a pastor friend's post-Easter rant:

In my job I often feel like a used car salesman who wants to sell hybrids, but it ain't what people are buying, and the lot down the street is selling Hummer's real cheap (this is barely a metaphor). The "fun bait-and-switch community building events" that I plan these days don't compete with the big church in town and the straight-ahead gospel events I plan (shelter meals, third world fund-raisers, etc.) haven't sparked much interest either. I want to send a letter to my church families and say something akin to:

"Thought it would be important to tell you that by choosing to not participate in the kingdom of God on earth you are placing yourselves in danger of suffering the fires of hell. Cordially, your minister."

Now, the problem I have with the above is that it treads close to saying that not participating in church activities is equivalent to not participating in the kingdom of God on earth. But I'm willing to give this pastor the benefit of the doubt and say that he's referring to the 'straight-ahead gospel events.' But I really can't tell in a definitive way. Read the whole thing and decide for yourself. On the whole, though, I think that many pastors share his frustration.

And finally, Scott visited a megachurch on Easter, and gives his critique on the service:

there was a testimony by a yuppie chick about how she and her husband were told by god not to vacation on a certain island which just happened to be wiped out by the tsunami. in her position i might have believed the same thing but a part of me could not help but wonder why god hadn't told anyone else who was killed there that day. what made this woman so special? god works in mysterious ways i guess.

What a wacky place the church can be.