Tag Archives: congregation
Sadly, having for years encouraging members of a congregation to move to the front during Sunday worship, I’m just as guilty of sitting right at the back of the sanctuary, now that I’m retired.
“The church often bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the dysfunctional family. There is the authoritarian presence of the minister — the professional who knows all of the answers and calls most of the shots — whom few ever challenge either because they don’t dare to or because they feel it would do no good if they did. There is the outward camaraderie and inward loneliness of the congregation. There are the unspoken rules and hidden agendas, the doubts and disagreements that for propriety’s sake are kept more or less under cover. There are people with all sorts of enthusiasms and creativities which are not often enough made use of or even recognized because the tendency is not to rock the boat but to keep on doing things the way they have always been done.” – Frederick Buechner
via Brian D McLaren
There is no denying that some ministers are extremely tedious, and though the congregation can do nothing to mend matters, sometimes a man arises with a courage above his peers.
The sermon was on the Books of the Bible, and for fifty minutes the minister expounded his views, first on one book, and then on another until the congregation began to show signs of fatigue. At last, just as he seemed about to close he began afresh. “We have examined the five great books of Moses; we have sympathised with the patient Job; we have revelled in the psalms of David; we have braved the lions in their den with Daniel; we have been cheered with Isaiah’s ‘rapt seraphic fire’; what shall we now do with Jeremiah ”
“Jeremiah can have my seat,” replied old John the beadle, “I’m awa’ hame.”
As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation……..”We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek”….The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation…..The homeless man sitting in the back stood up…..and started walking down the aisle…..the clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him….he walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment….then he recited
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning…many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame…. he then said….Today I see a gathering of people……not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples…when will YOU decide to become disciples? He then dismissed service until next week…….Being a Christian is more than something you claim. I’ts something you live by and share with others