Friday, February 11, 2011

Wishes from a pew sitter

I received this in an e-newsletter from Group Publishing. Some I agree with, but some I'm not so sure about. Anything that you have a particular feeling toward or against?

10 Wishes from a Pew Sitter

At the start of a new year, as a pew-sitter, I have a few wishes for the church leaders I know and love:

  1. Banish the "stand and greet your neighbor" time in the worship service. I know your intentions are good, but it's forced, fruitless and goofy.
  2. Forget everything they taught you about three-point sermons. You're wildly successful if you can get across one point. Just one point. Then sit down.
  3. Get out and spend time with real people. Schedule lunches at your members' workplaces and schools. Listen. Get a feel for how real people live.
  4. Encourage regular evaluation. Use comment cards. Ask us what we remember from last week's sermon. Then take us seriously, and adjust.
  5. Crank down the volume of the band. Allow us to actually hear the voices of the flock.
  6. Burn the fill-in-the-blank sermon guides. They're insulting, distracting and ineffective. (Can you imagine Jesus using them? Let's see, "Feed my _______.")
  7. Show hospitality. Encourage people to enjoy a cup of coffee-during the service.
  8. Let us participate. Entertain our questions-during the service. Let the real people around us tell how God is working in their lives.
  9. Relax. Make some real friends. Spend more time with your family. Don't schedule every evening with church meetings.
  10. Get rid of the pews. Really.


Carrie said...

I enjoy the fill in the blank things but they just really suit my style of learning. I can see why some people hate them.

Don't get rid of the pews.


admissions said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim said...

Sorry - I was signed in with a work account on the previous comment.

"Stand and greet your neighbor" time, sharing of the peace, whatever you want to call it has existed for centuries and I wouldn't be willing to give it up. Sometimes you have to make people communicate - I'm OK with that.

dan horwedel said...

That's the hard thing about lists like this - for every person that dislikes something, there is often someone that likes it too (and vice-versa).

Thanks for the input!

Jim said...

Well...You asked, so:

o In our church, but only in the small service we go to, not the daytime services, "passing the peace" is a big get-up-and-mingle-in-the-aisles thing that lasts a few minutes. It's nice, even for an introvert like me.

o I was going to say, "I wish my pastor would have lunch with me," then thought, "Well, then why don't you invite him, fool?" So there's some work to be done there. :)

o [Treading carefully, since my wife is part of the band at church] I like our church's band, esp. that the guitarist (an old guy - older than me :) will take small solos. He's excellent, and I always just sit there and smile while he plays. That said, I HATE (HATE, HATE, HATE) Powerpoint slide lyrics and songs that switch rhythms when no one but the band has a clue it's going to happen (because you're looking at PPT slides, not music). Hmmm, I thought I had written a blog post about that, but searching I see I haven't. Will have to correct that.

o Yeah, the fill-in-the-blank things would leave me cold (sorry, Carrie). Luckily my church doesn't use "sermon guides" at all. In fact it seems a strange concept to me.

o Coffee during service? But how will we stand up and sit and kneel and stand without spilling it and staining the carpet? :)

o The asking questions thing SOUNDS good, but in a standard setting no one's gonna do it. Especially since we're all in school auditorium style seating.

o Which leads me to say "Amen" to the pew thing.

dan horwedel said...

Thanks, Jim. And... we don't do the "stand up, sit down, kneel" thing, so coffee is no problem. :)

Tammie said...

I guess I'm in the minority. I hate the stand and greet part. At some churches it does work, but not mine!

dan horwedel said...

I agree, Tammie. It depends on the church; and sometimes the day.

And, being in the minority on this blog doesn't necessarily mean you're in the minority. :)