Archive | October, 2013

The Twelve Days of Pastor Appreciation

28 Oct

On The First day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

A personalized KJV!

 

On the Second day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the third day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the fourth day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the fifth day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the Sixth day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Six geezers nay-saying

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the seventh day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Seven seniors sleeping

Six geezers nay-saying

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the eighth day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Eighth moms complaining

Seven seniors sleeping

Six geezers nay-saying

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the ninth day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Nine lectures on dancing

Eighth moms complaining

Seven seniors sleeping

Six geezers nay-saying

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the tenth day of Pastor Appreciation

My Church gave to me

Ten late night meetings

Nine lectures on dancing

Eighth moms complaining

Seven seniors sleeping

Six geezers nay-saying

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the eleventh day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Eleven people griping

Ten late night meetings

Nine lectures on dancing

Eighth moms complaining

Seven seniors sleeping

Six geezers nay-saying

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

On the twelfth day of Pastor Appreciation

My church gave to me

Twelve “No one’s Coming’s”

Eleven people griping

Ten late night meetings

Nine lectures on dancing

Eighth moms complaining

Seven seniors sleeping

Six geezers nay-saying

Five olden deacons!

Four corny cards

3 Amens!

Two ceramic doves

And a personalized KJV

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

How to Know if your Pastor Is Cheating

25 Oct

I know what you are thinking. Like many others, you have bought into the idea “This could never happen to me.” But the reality is that it most likely will. Your pastor will leave you for another church. Perhaps it will be the young one across town. Or it maybe the established & financially secure church that just finished a building project. What about the one upstate that he just spent a week with “preaching a revival”. Studies show that average tenure of a pastor nationally is 3.6 years. Listen to these testimonies:

“We thought things were going so well, I mean we just finished paying the building off.”

“I was shocked, not only that he left but I couldn’t believe the church he left us for…it wasn’t even Baptist.”

“I just pulled up to the parsonage like I do every Saturday morning to make sure he is up and the whole house was empty.”

Those are just a few examples of church members who were flabbergasted when they discovered their pastor had fallen into the arms of another church. It’s important you prepare yourself for this moment. I will offer a few warning signs that your pastor may be leaving you for another church.

1. The Pastor has a really good idea that he & just under 50% of the church is passionate about. Your pastor is about to become a church planter….in your town.

2.  He is shaving and getting his haircut regularly again. You may even notice a hint of cologne.

3. He no longer carries the personalized bible the church bought him. You know the one that said “Pastor of so and so church”.

4. He has started studying again & is preaching fresh sermons.

5. You notice bulletins from other churches sticking out of his Bible.

6. He brings up another church on a regular basis in your conversations with him. He seems smitten with what God is doing somewhere else.

7. He uses up all of his revival leave time. What you think is a revival may just be a trial sermon for a new church.

8. He hasn’t bought a new suit in years; he’s bought two in one week. The longer a pastor is at a church the more casual he dresses. Two suits in one week?  He’ll probably be gone in less than a month.

9. The one guy he has been afraid of at church, he tells him just what he thinks about him. Preachers have a kind of “bucket list”. It’s stuff they dream about doing but can’t for job security.

10. Someone stands up at the November business meeting and says “When is Pastor Appreciation Month anyway?”

11. A well dressed group of people all happen to visit your church on the same day. This is called a search committee. Your pastor is going to preach like you have never heard him preach on this day. And somewhere in town he’ll be having lunch with all of those visitors.

Those are just a few of the signs. Prepare yourself. Preachers come and go…but mainly they go. Rest assured that another one will come your way. He’ll be neatly groomed, smell nice, have a pressed suit and preach fresh sermons. Life will return to normal. Good things will once again happen. You will experience the joy of having a pastor….for 3.6 years anyway.

Hello, My Name is Church

16 Oct

 

Hello my name is church,

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about me. I have no shortage of critics. Perhaps you have heard that I am…

Boring

Shallow

Cheap

A waste of time

 

You’ve heard that I am full of

 

Hypocrites

Clowns

Greedy people

The self- righteous

 

Maybe you have visited me before and discovered

 

Horrible music

Passionless singing

Dry preaching

Rude congregants

 

Maybe you needed me and I was

 

Too busy

Too “righteous”

Too broke

Too blind

 

Maybe you joined me and found I was

 

Distant

Demanding

Dull

Preoccupied

 

Maybe you tried to serve in me but were caught off guard by

 

Business meetings

Committees

Teams

Bureaucracy

 

Maybe you left and were surprised that nobody

 

Called

Cared

Noticed

Invited you back

 

 

Perhaps your experience has driven you to

 

Speak negatively of me

Swear to never come back to me

Proclaim that no one needs me

Believe you’re better off without me

 

 

If this is true, I have something to say to you

 

I’m sorry

I was wrong

I blew it

I made a huge mistake

 

But remember, I never said my name was

 

Perfect

Flawless

Complete

Arrived

 

My name is church. I welcome the

 

Hypocrite

Dry

Self-righteous

Shallow

 

I welcome the

 

Sincere

Passionate

Forgiving

Selfless

 

I cannot shut my doors to the people who make you

 

Angry

Uncomfortable

Impatient

Self-conscious

 

But I would remind you that we couldn’t always worship in the same room. In the Old Testament there was a division between the

 

Gentile

Jew

Man

Woman

 

In order for us to all worship in the same room Christ was

 

Shamed

Beaten

Killed

Resurrected

 

 

Which is far worse than being

 

Bored

Uncomfortable

Embarrassed

Ignored

 

So why not come back to church and let all of these messed up people

 

Challenge you

Sharpen you

Strengthen you

Humble you.

 

I can’t promise you that the people will be great.  This is church. It’s not

 

Heaven

Paradise

Beulah Land

The Celestial city

 

Come back.

 

God wants you here

The body needs you here

The world needs your witness here.

You belong here.

 

Hello, my name is church

 

I miss you

I love you

I’m sorry

Can’t wait to see you.

8 People You Need to be Warned About Before You Go To Church

10 Oct

If you are thinking about attending a Baptist church, this is an article you need to read. There are some folks you are going to meet there. It’s best if you are warned about them beforehand. Trust me; a little heads up will go a long way. You’re going to be glad you educated yourself beforehand. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it will get you started.

Broke Neck– This person usually sits up front. When you make a sound, any sound, he will quickly turn around and make eye contact with you. There have been documented cases in which a Broke Neck has spun his head around a full 360 degrees. Broke Neck doesn’t want anyone except the pastor making a sound in church. He never gets up to go to the bathroom. He never clears his throat or sneezes and his stomach has never growled in church. His phone has never rung nor has his children ever made any noise in church. This person will frighten you greatly. But rest assured, he will never move to the back of the church. He doesn’t like distractions.

Candy Man–  As soon as it’s time to begin the sermon this person will break out candy enclosed in  a very loud wrapper. He will open it very slowly because he thinks that makes it quieter. His candy lasts about 10 minutes so you can expect in a thirty minute sermon to be distracted by him about 3 times.  You will find yourself fantasizing about snatching his candy from him, unwrapping it and shoving it in his mouth. Do not give into that temptation.  Under no circumstances is Candy Man to sit near Broke Neck. That would be a disaster.

Mad Max– He believes the Bible and he’s mad about it. Kids are too loud, church is too long, people are too laid back, preacher’s too lazy, America is going downhill. He’s mad. And he’s going to stay mad. Don’t take it personal. He hates everyone equally.

Smiley– Often times this is a woman. Smiley is always happy. It will be really cool at first. But then you start wondering how this person could actually be this happy all the time. You are extremely suspicious. You will find yourself saying odd things to her like “My cat got ran over” or “I’m thinking about relapsing” just to get her to quit smiling. But it won’t work. If you could drug test one person in the church it would be her.

Flash Gordon This is a kid. This kid is wide open all the time. He is loud. He is into everything. He has an inside voice but it’s the same as his outside voice. Everyone knows this kid. No one likes this kid. Mad Max would love to keep this kid for a week.

Mr. Boring This person exudes boredom. They don’t know it, but they do. But they like to talk, give announcements, and share a story. They talk in a monotone voice and pause frequently. If they ask the pastor for 2 minutes we assume it will be twenty.

The Brady BunchThis is a family. It’s a big family. And it’s going to get bigger. They’ve been parking in the “Expectant Mothers” parking spot for the last 7 years. The crazy thing is that they are always at church, they are dressed neatly, they volunteer regularly and they have a really positive outlook. The kids get along. The dad opens the door for mom. They seem perfect. You are usually late for church and all you have is a goldfish to take care of. These folks will amaze you. You’re pretty sure TLC will approach them very soon with a TV deal.

Dr. NoHe’s an eternal pessimist. The church of today stinks. The church of yesterday was perfect. If you ever attend a business meeting you’ll meet him. He lives for church business meetings. If the pastor wants to try something new, forget it. If the church needs to spend some money that isn’t in the budget he’ll have something to say.

As I mentioned, this list isn’t exhaustive. But after reading about these few, you may wonder “Why even go to church?” All of these folks are what make church beautiful. Church is a place of grace. It’s a place for messed up people with problems that make us laugh sometimes and cry at others. At church we learn to get along with people that we consider aggravating or odd. They remind us of how petty we can be. They remind us of our own impatience or unwillingness to accept others. Church is a freak show of sorts. And if we look close enough we may find that we have a little freak in us as well. If we forsake the church we forsake an opportunity to grow in grace. God uses messed up people to remind us of how messed up we are. So don’t let these folks keep you out of church. Let them remind you of how much we all need God’s grace.