As September draws near even the churches who have taken a summer vacation have put out their bulletins and dusted off their websites to entice members to sign up for small group classes. Leadership personnel are hit with Saturday and after-work, late-in-the-evening seminars to prepare them for various committee positions and re-certify them to teach Sunday School. A friend belonged to a church that demanded a 30-hour leadership course prior to singing in the CHOIR
and then demanded that you start a small group!
Recent blog posts suggest that the majority of church members find these classes ‘overkill’ and just another reason to avoid church and church membership. “The way we have always done it” is thinly veiled under hip graphics behind monotonal speakers on DVDS instead of live monotonal speakers and felt board. Curriculum must be denominational approved because we would not want to taint our congregants with outside ideas! Do we think their faith walk so weak? And if it is — do we not want them to exercise their spiritual muscles and study the Bible for themselves??!!!
I would like to belong to a church where people are empowered to use their God-given gifts to serve others without jumping through the hoops of seminars and committee approval to begin their service. I would like to belong where it is not “who you know” that brings you into fellowship and service but only the One to Whom you are a disciple and desire to serve as He does.
I would like to be a part of a small group where the members came from different church affiliations and age groups. The only requirements to belong to the group would be respect to all the members and a desire to discuss questions that have been on our minds and seek God’s words. (notice I did not say ‘answers’)
I am finding my place…just not inside a church. Hmmm.