The Pastor and the Prostitute May 20, 2013Posted by worshipconvergence in ministry, Christianity, Church, Leadership.
Tags: Adam Hamilton, business, chris tomlin, christ, christian, faith, God, inspirational, Jesus, joyce meyer, leadership, love, management, methodist, ministry, music, parable, pastor, rick warren, shepherd, wesleyan
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A woman approached her pastor one day, concerned with theological inconsistencies in the church. After several moments explaining where her heart was and her love of learning and living the Word, the pastor, showing a slight irritation at perceived resistance to his visioning, explained that the church was a business, and that the marketing and casting lots of young adults into high profile and high visibility positions such as youth, hospitality, and music ministries was all part of the business to attract their own kind, and that sometimes it is necessary to bend lessons in order to not offend people, such as stating that the Word consistently says something but Jesus never actually said it. The woman replied, “But the Word became flesh, Jesus is the Word. It isn’t like the drinking issue, where some of the Bible says not to drink at all while parts say to not drink to the point of drunkenness, and Jesus turned water in to wine, so the latter has to be considered the Word. If you can say the Word consistently says something, Jesus’ existence is simply the period at the end of the statement.”
The pastor looked on with discontent. “But we can’t say this, modern society doesn’t see it that way. Its better for business to keep the numbers up and doing it as you say might scare people away.”
The woman, seeing the pastor’s steadfastness toward his visioning, asked the pastor, “How much do you charge for sex?”
The pastor had to contain his outrage at such a distasteful question. He responded, “That’s a little out of line. Prostitution isn’t something to talk of lightly or so brashly.”
“That doesn’t really answer the question,” the woman said, “is there a price, monetary or otherwise, that would convince you have sex with someone other than your wife?”
The pastor curtly stated through a clenched jaw, “No.”
The woman wrapped up her concern in one statement, “The Church is the Body of Christ, and the Body of Christ is a temple, and temples are not to be turned in to businesses. So, pastor, if you would not turn your body in to a business, why are you turning His in to one?”
Dig Deeper, Worship Wholly February 9, 2013Posted by worshipconvergence in Christianity, Church, Leadership, ministry.
Tags: bass, CCM, chris tomlin, christ, church, drums, God, guitar, hillsong, Jesus, leadership, love, matt redman, music, praise, sax, service, singing, trombone, trumpet, worship
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I always find myself frustrated at the lack of depth, or, the superficiality of music in worship services. While I’m not against using songs that are popular, I believe in presenting more than the best selling songs of the day. I have compiled, into 2 Amazon listmania lists, a small assortment of songs fit for use in congregational settings, yet most are rarely heard in worship -too new, too old, too obscure, too fast, too aggressive, sound more like background music. Many excuses to mask the truth: most modern churches are businesses and thus are consumer driven, therefore they use topical, superficial. “accessible” songs that occupy the Billboard Christian charts to attract “seekers,” i.e. trend-seekers..
There are more than these 80 songs, but this is a start. Not all of these fall in the categories I mentioned above.
I hope these songs bless you and your congregation.
Happy Anniversary! November 14, 2012Posted by worshipconvergence in Christianity.
Tags: abuse, anniversary, church, corruption, discipline, follow, leadership, leaving, love, methodist, ministry, pastor, shepherd, UMC, work
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One year ago today, after nearly three and a half years of mistreatment, I left the church whose lead pastor:
took a sexual joke more seriously than my word;
lied to me about expectations for my staff position, causing me to fail so she could make a change without being perceived as the villain;
lied to me about my position’s interaction with another staff position and responded to the confrontation of the lie with, to paraphrase, “If you don’t like it, quit;”
held me to double standards by telling me I wasn’t the right choice for my staff position because I didn’t do certain things, and then hiring someone who didn’t do those things and informing this person publicly that she didn’t have to do those things and could delegate however she wanted;
told multiple people that the, now former, church business manager was responsible for the maintenance department, then on multiple occasions stripped the business manager of authority to fulfill that responsibility to the extent that when the she tried to report the head custodian for consistently not working, the pastor wouldn’t let the manager turn in the report to the church elders;
told the, now former, technology coordinator his workload was going to be nearly doubled for no additional pay, then in the same meeting stated that a new staff position could be created (and funds allocated) to pay someone else to do the same work;
overloaded, seemingly intentionally, the, now former, hospitality director and refused her the assistance to make the workload more manageable, (kind of a “this is the job, if you can’t do it all maybe you shouldn’t do any of it” kind of mentality) yet less than two months after the director resigned that one staff position had been split into 3 positions and the two new ones were given to people who were already on staff and could have been delegated to;
took sides against a staff member when one congregation member accused him of bad-mouthing another staff member, telling the accused – who wasn’t allowed to defend himself, that he was not to mingle with or talk to the congregation anymore;
Manipulated another pastor out of applying for a pastoral position by telling him there wasn’t a need for the church to have a third pastor so the church’s anti-nepotism policy wouldn’t have to be enforced on the person the leadership wanted to hire: the husband of a woman who’d been hired ten months earlier.
And that’s just the ones who were willing to give their experiences, albeit unofficial in the eyes of the elders. God told Joshua after the battle of Ai that as long as there is sin in your camp, He is not. Trespasses of the leadership are many, repentances are condescending or faked. To those whose exit preceded mine as well as those who’ve left since – well done, good and faithful servants! To those who haven’t followed God out yet, there’s still time! Don’t stay, tethered, to friends or family who won’t leave, the name of the church, a position of power or influence, or anything else. Don’t be afraid to get out. Don’t just pray for the corruption to leave you, you have the power to walk by God. You could be celebrating your anniversary of following the Shepherd instead of staying with the wolves.