Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oddly Conservative: Church Attendance

Tonight, I begin a series that will last one week entitled: Oddly Conservative. Many people have me pegged as a pretty liberal pastor which is not all bad. One of the best compliments I have gotten as a pastor is “you are very worldly.” Now before we shoot that through our “Christian filter” they were not talking “worldly” in the way fundie refers to the word. Rather they were talking about how I am savvy on things going on around the world and within pop-culture. So…with that said…some of my blogs may offend and some may love them. This should not change what you think of me because I am quite sure if I sat down with you and a cup of coffee for an intelligent conversation…there would be some quirky things I would find out about you.

I think the first thing I am conservative about given my upbringing is church attendance. I truly believe there is still hope for the church. Yes I understand many people have been hurt by the church…I HAVE BEEN THERE in a very real way and can relate. But for me to write of church because I had a bad experience would be like me writing off “Noodles and Company” because I had bad service at one location. That is simply crazy.In our study at church on Wednesday nights I love that N.T. Wright still finds this concept to be a great thing.

The argument out there is that “we are the church” and I get that. I do not believe you need a building to have church. I believe you do not need the building to have a certain look in order to be “the church.” I honestly do not care if you meet in a school, home, pub, etc. In my humble opinion I think today’s Christians has made church a weekly decision and not a lifestyle decision. To be completely honest with you I am grateful my parents made sure we were at church every Sunday morning (and Sunday night because that was the trend) and Wednesday nights. The programs were great and I think all in all I turned out alright. This is the same thing we are doing with our kids. Being a pastor, I am required to be at church more often but that will not be required of my children. Sunday’s and midweek will work for me. I find the statistics interesting with parents that try to be "the cool parents" and don't take there kids to church vs. the ones that do. The ones raised by "the cool parents" are statistically more likely to not even attend a church gathering of any kind.

No doubt people need a weekend here or there because they are sick or on vacation or just want to stay home after working…I get that. In the broad spectrum though I think it is very healthy to role-model church attendance to our children and quite honestly it is good for us as adults. I can already hear parents saying, “you just wait until your kids are in sports or are teenagers and don’t want to go.” My response for that is going to be in another blog ;-).

I believe in Hebrews 10:25(NIV) “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” There is certainly a push you get when you can meet together with other people on a weekly basis. No doubt we get fellowship in other places but there is something to be said about being with a church (however that may look for you) and making sure if you have kids…they attend. I love Facebook but I need to physically be with people.

Well…there is the first thing I am oddly conservative about. Did I scare you yet? You will find I am actually old fashion in some ways over the next week. Don't worry though...though I am conservative in some not so conservative Christians....I am with you as well!

1 comment:

  1. Completely agree, Bob - the "meeting together" part of Christian life is more important than some will admit. Some people have been hurt, of course, and that is a shame - but how often do we keep a job even though we have an obnoxious and hurtful co-worker? Sometimes it is worth leaving the job - but we don't just quit working, we find a better job with a more appropriate work environment. Similarly, "church" is a means of meeting needs (both ours and others), and we may be at the wrong one, but to quit entirely is just as much a self-inflicted harm as quitting working and living on welfare just because we had a bad job!