Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"10 Honest Observations from a Former Church Insider"

A former pastor explains how his perspective on things churchy changed once he was no longer inside the institution. Read the whole thing. A selection:

10. This is going to sound terrible, but I’m surprised how little church means to me now that I’m not a church insider. 
When I was a church insider, I operated under the assumption that what we were offering people was going to fill some deep gap that they had and knew that they had, but now that I am a church outsider, I’m a perfectly content guy. I don’t feel like something is missing. Maybe it is, but it doesn’t feel that way.   
I think pastors and church leaders too often assume that people that don’t show up on Sunday are lonely or deficient in some way, but it’s just not the case in my world and probably isn’t the case with others. 
I listed this first because I think if I knew that people felt that way when I was a pastor I would have offered them something different and talked to them differently.  
It changes everything. 
7. The sermons are rarely memorable. This is a huge problem because in every church we’ve visited the sermon is clearly designed to be the crescendo/centerpiece of the entire service.   
I won’t tell you where we went last, but I can’t tell you even one sentence from the sermon and I listened the whole doggone time.
6. In my church training, I always learned that parents will go to a church that they like just a little bit if the kids LOVE it...
But that parents will leave a church they like a lot if the kids don’t like it.  
It’s true.  I preferred one church in New York personally but the kids didn’t like it at all.  We went back one time. The kids didn’t like it again. I loved it. We never went back.  DOUBLE DOWN ON WHAT YOU DO FOR KIDS. Make it even bigger and better than what you do for adults!!
4. When I pastored Courageous Church we spent an outrageous amount of time on announcements.  
I was slightly aware that we spoke of our announcements too many times. Now that I am on the other end of things, IT IS CRAZY.