This past Sunday was a meeting day. It was our new pastor’s first Sunday at our church. For that matter, it was also our first Sunday with our new pastor. It kind of goes both ways, you know.
Our previous pastor was an evangelically-minded United Methodist with a high christology. He liked liturgy, and he seemed to enjoy the more formal aspects of worship in the Wesleyan tradition. Plus, he had a beautiful speaking (and singing) voice.
Well, we learned a few things about our new pastor Sunday. He doesn’t like to wear a robe. He’s fun-loving and full of self-deprecating humor. He doesn’t have our former pastor’s voice, but it’s still a fine voice nevertheless; but he could enunciate better and not drop the volume so much as he nears the end of the sentence. Then again, he’s 61, and it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
He’s clearly evangelical…VERY evangelical! He says he’s not one for a lot of theology in his sermons; that he’s still changing, still learning, still evolving theologically.
He’s very informal (except he was wearing a suit.) He’s the first one to change anything in the set order of worship. He’ll throw something out at a moment’s notice if he doesn’t feel like doing it that way. He doesn’t care too much for liturgy. When we did communion this past Sunday he threw out the usual liturgy and did it all off-the-cuff.
For the scripture reading he decided to not use the scripture as shown on the projection screen, saying he doesn’t use that version anyway, and read from his own Bible instead. (It sounded suspiciously like the NLT to me.)
It looks like this is going to be an interesting time for our church. Some are already thinking they may not like this guy. So far I like him quite a lot.
But as I said in my title, it’s too early to make such judgments. We’re only in the first inning. There’s only been one pitch! We can’t possibly know how the game will end yet, can we?