I don’t know how good this post will be, I’m just mulling this over in my mind as I write.
Every couple weeks our local church sends out a newsletter, and every time it’s full of activities – things for the people of the church to do. We’re having a church softball tournament, and they want people to come out and watch and support our church softball team. The youth group is going on a mission trip to some inner city somewhere, and they are asking prayers and support for them. The pastor has gone on vacation for the next couple weeks, so others are taking over some of his duties while he is gone. This Sunday, like every Sunday during the summer, the church will have a time in the evening at a local park for fun and games, food and fellowship, and finally a short time of worship. Activities, activities, activities.
I suppose I should be pleased that we have such an active church and pastoral team. After all, I could belong to one of those churches where nothing ever happens. People come to church on Sunday, and then go home and don’t even think about church until next Sunday.
But something still bothers me about this situation. Maybe I’m just getting old and wish people wouldn’t bother me. But what’s bothering me is not people, it’s the activity, but without much of Christ.
We’re supposed to be a church, the body of Christ in the world. But even in this relatively evangelical group I find very little interest in Bible study and fellowship, and true worship of our Holy God.
People look at me funny and even seem to avoid me because I like slow, deep Bible study. I even carry one of my many Bibles to church on Sunday! (horrors!) Methodists don’t do that!
What do they like to do? Have fun, play games, eat food, go to sporting events; you know, the things the “normal” people of the world like to do!
Oh, and since this is church, we’ll tack on a little worship service, 15-20 minutes, at the end of the event so we can call ourselves “Methodists”.
After fighting tooth and nail against liberalism in the church for the past 20-25 years of my life, who would have guessed I’d get disgruntled when we have a relatively conservative evangelical pastor finally, and the people seem to be coming around and speaking openly about their faith?