Today at my church they are having a children's program. There is only one problem. We only have one child, and “Child's Program” doesn't roll off the tongue.
Why would you have a children's program when you only have one? The only reason I can come to is because we've always done it that way.
The church I go to came from a split church. It was awesome. We had probably 30 people in the choir. The music was awesome. The culture was awesome. That was probably close to 20 years ago. There is only one problem.
The church has not changed at all. Not one single bit. If you had a bulletin from 1998 and compared it to today's the only thing that changes is the pastor.
When the choir got smaller due to this thing called Natural Causes that keeps making the congregation smaller, the director decided we would sing Handel's Messiah. This is a very hard piece of music to sing. Looking back, we shouldn't have done it. We didn't have the people. We didn't have the talent. Typically people in a choir can sing. They can actually sing different parts. Over the years, this has become less and less the case. Last week I sang next to a lovely older man who didn't want the music. He just wanted the words.
As I was the sound person at the time, I told them how I could feed a little bit of the demo singers into the monitor to keep us on track. I never thought we would perform this way. Flash forward 15 years and now the voices are so loud, for me its embarrassing. I didn't even really practice my parts this year because there was no point? I could actually sit there and mouth the words.
Also when you can't stand for the 45 minutes performance because of your age. Maybe it's time to retire. We have probably 10 people made up of 9 women and me. I hate to knock the other two gentlemen in the bass section, but they just sing the melody This is a choir.
So why would you have a choir when you don't have people who can sing or perform? We've always had a Christmas and Easter cantata.
I go to this church because my Aunt goes there. Many of the people who go there watch me grow up. The average age is probably 70. The pastor is a very nice man who types out his sermons and reads them to us. How do I know this? Because the one Sunday he left one of his pages back at the soundboard and had to walk back and get it.
Nurses make bad patients. Teachers make bad students. Presenters make horrible audience members apparently because I can't take the fact that he has a wireless microphone but stands in one spot. Well except when he does the children's story and the one child comes up. Why? Because we've always had a children's story.
There is a song by King's X off the Gretch Goes to Nebraska album called Mission and it has been in my head lately. The chorus is
Who are these people behind the stained glass windows have they forgotten just what they came here for? Was it salvation or “scared of hell” or an assembly of a social get-together what's the mission of the preacher man?
I used to go to a local Mega-church that really fed me spiritually. Although I notice they do “series” of sermons. They've do one on dedication to the church. They will do one on marriage. They'll do another one on money. They seem to repeat. To this I say to myself the bible doesn't change, it's always going to be the same thing.
The bad news is I don't know anybody there. I've signed up for their small groups but never been contacted. It feeds me spiritually, but as someone who works from home and at times goes days without actually speaking words to another person, the little church is filled with people who know me.
The other problem I have with the little church is they are constantly doing events that mean you have to pay for something. Ninety nine percent of the time this involves food, or something that leads you to think, “Can I just give you the money?” Then I saw the budget and how this money is spent. I'll just say I don't agree with the leadership of the church. I think that is the one that sticks in my side. After all, isn't it always about money in the end?
When I was a pastor in training I suggested that the pastor be paid a percentage of the profit. That way if the church didn't grow (meaning I failed) I wouldn't get paid. That idea went over like a lead balloon, and apparently instead everyone got raises.
The biggest problem is the true head of the church is a woman who is almost like a second Mom for me. She was the head of the BYF when I was in it. We've had a lot of fun times. She is the “choir” director. She is the music leader. This really causes issues with my brain.
This church also attracts people who if they don't take their meds will drop F bombs in church. I wish I was making this up. As you can't control them, this is an issue. Speaking of control, the ONE child we have OFTEN will crawl on her hands and knees all over the sanctuary IN THE SERVICE. Their parental figure says nothing. This drives me nuts.
So If I were to summarize: The pastor is a nice guy, but a boring presenter The leadership of the church is not forward thinking and can't make hard choices The choir is lip syncing and feels their audience is dumb enough not to notice The future of the church seems questionable as there are no children The budget of the church has not shrunk with attendance The music we sing is not true praise music
So why do I attend? Because I always have, except today. Screw the children's program