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..to disturb and disrupt to see Christ’s face fresh again...

Dear professional church staff dude… An open letter from your “target demographic”

Dear church worker dude or dudette.
Hey it’s me.
Your “target demographic”.
36 year old married father of 2.
28 year old single female yuppie.
22 year old WW2 look alike hipster
Whoever you deem “target. It’s me
I know you work hard at getting me to come to your church services.
You study me, what I like to do, listen to, and watch.
You then try and incorporate all of that into that 1 hour on Sunday you are trying to get me to come to.
Here’s a few things I thought you might wanna know.

1. If I come to your Sunday morning thing, you don’t have to pretend it’s something it’s not.
I’ll be ok. I know I’m going to church so you don’t have to protect me and dress it up like it’s not church.
I know I’ll be freaked out by some things, but I’d rather be freaked out by that Jesus guy then a really bad version of Katy Perry’s ROAR.
If you’re gonna do that, make sure the chick singing it sounds like she is roaring and not a meowing.

2. The singing thing is REALLY weird.
I mean look. I think I get it. You are singing to God? But He’s invisible? But you keep pointing to the ceiling? Is He in the ceiling? Or is He in “my heart”?
OMG. I’m so confused by that whole shebang.
I get the sermon part.
I think I just need the singer dude or chick to talk a little bit more about what’s going on instead of just singing real pretty.
Cause I’m pretty sure a few more minutes of explaining what’s going on may help me out a little bit.
I think you guys call that worship “leading” right?
Cool. Thanks.

3. The whole flash my kids number on the giant jumbotron and then make me get up in front of the entire church to get my crying kid in the nursery idea?
It’s a bad one.
Text me. Buzz me.  Something else besides embarrass me. I’ll be more likely to slip out.

4. Those small group things.
It was scary enough walking into this room full of 500 people, now you wanna make me walk into a room with 12?!
Yea. Not gonna happen.
Not UNLESS you stop calling them small groups and maybe just call them Dinner and Beer With New Friends.
Now THOSE I would go to.
I think I also get the point of those.
But you gotta work on the marketing of those guys.
Maybe call them These Will Make You Awesome Groups.
See? Already better than Small Groups.

5. Oh. I forgot to tell you. I’m gay.
Can you please not hide where you stand on this cause I’d rather we both stand on opposite sides of this conversation than you stand on nothing at all.

K thanks.
Love,
The guy or girl you are trying to reach.

  • Awesome.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Thanks man!

  • Epic. Every word of this should be read 47 times by any person looking to reach the next generation. Great post man.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Thanks Aaron

  • Jay-Jay

    I am so psyched about this ON POINT and amazing post that I just read it aloud to a friend that stopped by for coffee. I suspect I will be sharing this ALL DAY and for many more to come! RIGHT ON!!!

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Thanks Jay-Jay. And what an epic name you have

  • My church did a really good version of Roar this week. Unfortunately I hate that song.

    Great points though.These are definitely things that don’t get thought through.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Dan

    Doesn’t #4 contradict with #1? Dressing things up like something else to get people to come? Just a thought.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Nope. #1 isn’t about a name.
      And #3 is about having beer. 🙂
      Just a statement that small groups may not be the best way to get new people into community.

  • Kidmin360

    As a Children’s Ministry consultant I advise and wish EVERY church would hear you on #3. Every last one of those number things should be blown up immediately!

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Thanks!!!!

    • Kimpy

      As a children’s minister, I hope you’re ignoring the beer part in #4. hehe

  • Jeff Thornton

    Show me your church do all these things then tell me what the church should be, the church shouldn’t be people blogging complaining about church.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Look at every church I’ve worked at. I don’t work for the local church anymore. 🙂 And it seems like it struck a chord with you. And I completely disagree with your last statement. Should I just shout it on a street corner or never talk about it? That would make the church a cult and not a bride.

      Stop getting your feelings hurt and step into the disturbance that this causes. It will help you tremendously.

    • Seen PLENTY of church leaders be stretched by this dude and his “complaining” blogs. …and they are better for it today. We have our bubble. Carlos is the needle. Which reminds me…ive read about another guy who seemed to burst a lot of religious thinker’s bubble back in the day, too…….

      • reardensteel

        Challenging establishment is fine.
        Let’s not compare anyone to Jesus.

  • John Partridge

    You may be giving us more credit that we deserve if you think we even know what demographic we are targeting. Most churches “target” is “anybody” they can get through the door. Still, good points, all.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      I beg to differ and lean into your statement.
      Look in the pews.
      Who is there?
      That my friend is who you are targeting.
      🙂
      “Anybody” isn’t coming to your church.

      • John Partridge

        Absolutely correct. This was, I suppose, a sort of sarcasm at my own expense. Too many churches simply don’t have a plan of any sort. It is a great challenge to convince people that they need one. I’m trying, but it isn’t easy.

    • Ed Neely

      I think that should be the point of our local bodies of believers. Isn’t it about seeking and saving the lost? I know that I/we don’t do the saving, but we can make the environment one where they will not be turned away by the stench of hypocracy.

      We need to do all that we can to show the lost that Jesus would have been more likely to hang out with them, than he would have been to hang out with the typical pastor/deacon/committee member/etc… Those churches that are able to help people to see the love of Christ over the rules of the church, are the ones that have the most success in attracting new souls to Christ.Those churches that cater to those people that they have already gotten through the doors, have lost sight of what got people there in the first place.

  • Nathan

    Raggamufin bleeds through your very being. And it is awesome. Every post, thought, and blog is genuine. That’s what I appreciate most. Keep sharing Los -Nate

  • Taylor

    Great stuff.

    Now, where do I sign up for a small group where I get to drink beer?

    • If you live in Northwest Arkansas, you can join mine. 🙂

  • jess

    1. & 2. : Word. So over the “lets-incude-cool-music-so-people-think-we’re-edgy’ worship music. please, no more secular songs designed to ‘bring people in’. if i wanted to listen to katy perry/josh groban/U2, i’d go to their concert. They’d sing it better anyway.
    3. unfortunate.
    4. also, no to small groups. yes to dinner and beer with friends. I’m a former church worker, and small groups creep me out. we’d all rather just be drinking beer anyway, right? and hanging out?

    5. I won’t hide where I stand on this. I love you.

  • kd

    You are so SPOT ON with all of these, especially about explaining to newbies what’s going on. It feels less like an “in-crowd clique” that way. Also…small groups…no thank you. Don’t force me. I think those “friendships” should happen on their own. It’s extremely awkward for some people to go hang out in complete stranger’s houses!
    Also, when someone’s name pops up on the screen, my pastor says “Smith…go get your kid. He’s on fire!!” I kinda like that. 😉

  • Andrew Kim

    Call #4 a Beerble Study!

  • Glory

    I am a worship leader. # 2 has been noted. 🙂

  • Michelle

    Dear guy or girl im trying to reach at church-

    I’m the worship leader that is praying every week for you. Sometimes I don’t always get it right and I know its because of fear…but bear with me. I’m learning a lot right along with you on this journey. The thing is, I’m trying to see things from where you sit, and how you think, so that we can walk hand in hand into the presence of God together. Forgive me for the times I went over your head with fancy words or for the times where I came in to church to just get it done. Trust me, my desire is for BOTH of us to experience God every time I get the privilege of getting on that platform. I don’t want you to experience me, or think im playing a show for you. I want you to hear from Heaven. I want the words we sing to bring revelation into your life, not entertainment. Don’t forget that I struggled with many of the same things you are thinking right now at one point and trust me, it makes me cringe when I see them in myself. More than anything, I want you to get to know the God that sacrificed his son for you. So I hope in my songs on Sunday for 30 minutes, that is the message that rings out so loud and so clear, that you will have no doubt what we are about. I love you.

    – A growing, stretching and learning worship leader.

    • Michelle

      P.S. My church never plays Katy Perry, so you’re safe here.

    • Becki

      Well said, thanks for sharing.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      Hey. I like this!

      • 3sixtee

        Its just my heart. It was nice to be able to share it 🙂

    • Carrie Crawford

      This is my heart as a worship leader too. Great response.

  • Mandy

    Only prob is with #3. If they ask you to turn your phones off how will get the text? More importantly, I’d rather know you’re disturbing the service because you have to go get your brat rather than thinking you’re lame because can’t hold your pee for more than an hour. And slipping out is your only option if you have to go get your child that’s sick/disruptive/etc. anyway, right?

    • John Partridge

      I think the issue with #3 isn’t that he has to get up and go check on his child, but that EVERYBODY in the room knows it. It’s awkward in the extreme. During my ministry I’ve always had some kind of “on call” professional in the sanctuary, doctors, nurses, IT professionals, funeral directors, the fire chief, whatever. Any of them might need to get up and answer the phone or even get up and go and no one thinks anything of it. One parent slipping out the back isn’t half as disruptive as gigantic flashing numbers over the pastor’s head. Cone on, those restaurant style pagers aren’t that expensive.

      • Mandy

        It would be extremely expensive for our church. We run 30,000 ppl on any given Sunday (across 8 campuses). The screen messages are coded to match the sticker you were given at drop off anyway. It’s not like the screen says “Hey everyone – Scott Roberts’ kid just set the Wonder Way room on fire!”.

    • Skegeeace

      Brat? Really? :-/

    • amoyer

      Maybe if child/nursery ministry was really seen for what is it — a ministry and service provided to parents — we could be a little more gracious. Parents are on call 24/7, and it would be nice to offer them the opportunity to enjoy an hour and a half of their week without feeling the need to run to their kid bc they’re an inconvenience to the ministry worker. To me, if you’re serving in a ministry, it’s because you’re signing up to make a personal sacrifice, which may mean holding a snotty, crying baby for an hour.

      *Of course, if a child is sick or in pain/injured, that should be handled differently.

      This simply sounds like a response from someone who either A) doesn’t have kids or B) only has kids who are never “sick, disruptive, etc.” Otherwise, I imagine you would have significantly more grace.

  • Mike

    I agree with Dan. I think #4 contradicts with #1… I know you don’t think so, but hear me out. I will agree that its scary and weird to join a small group if you just agreed to go to church. But I don’t agree with making small group this extremely easy to approach thing. I think it dilutes the message of what a small group is… I think they should stand out as something other. We shouldn’t “dress it up” as something different. I think there is more to “small group” than just “a group of people.”

    That said, I do think you should create ways for new people to easily engage with your church (an easy next step). At our church I don’t expect for new people to join a small group, but I hope they’ll join a next step environment then, over time, endear them to the idea of small group and what real community is all about. But I feel like trying to make it something its not just dilutes it, like you were saying in point 1.

    • ragamuffinsoul

      I think I would say, then change what it is.
      I still don’t go to a church sponsored “small group” because I can’t stand them. They are manufactured. And manufactured community is Truman Show not real community.
      BUT… That’s just me. They work for many!!!

      • I don’t think “manufactured community” is a bad thing.

        If you think about it, the entire worship experience at a church is manufactured. We sing songs with poetic lyrics and soaring guitars that tug at our emotions and amplify our response. We use graphics and sound to create a hip and fun environment, and then our pastors step on stage and use their gifts of speaking and teaching to spew talking points that we will chew on the rest of the afternoon.

        It’s all manufactured. It’s all intended to “usher us into the presence of God.” For better or worse, it seems to work.

        Back to small groups: just because a community is “manufactured” doesn’t mean it is “inauthentic”. Churches should provide framework for their groups and then allow them to grow organically from that. There’s no perfect formula, but structure is good.

        Granted, our small groups aren’t for everyone. But neither are our churches. However, just because a certain amount of folks struggle to connect in a small group doesn’t mean the system is broken. Perhaps this is an area where the church can innovate new ways to connect those folks who are “creeped out” by small groups. It’s also possible that those who are uncomfortable will NEVER be comfortable and I believe that says more about the person than it does about the small group system.

        • Bailey Olfert

          I do think that a manufactured congregational worship experience is a bad thing. I think that manipulating people through music is dishonest. I feel that much of what happens onstage in many churches is masked and inauthentic.

          I believe that congregational worship is not the same thing as being ‘ushered into the presence of God,’ which is often just emotional manipulation.

          • You make a great point, Bailey, and I’ve wrestled with this issue, too.

            Manufactured worship isn’t a new thing. In fact, I’d argue that we’ve been manufacturing worship since OT times. We’ve been building elaborate temples/churches for thousands of years, we practice customs and traditions that date back centuries, and we do all this stuff to worship and honor God. A lot of what we consider “traditional worship” nowadays was actually quite controversial when it was first introduced. I imagine there were plenty of people who felt the pipe organ led people in an inauthentic and manufactured worship experience back in the day.

            So while I DO think that there are churches providing inauthentic worship services (whether they’re post modern or modern/traditional), I think that our critiques often times put too much burden on the church and not enough on the parishioner. I believe the church carries the heaviest part of the load in regards to providing authentic worship, but I think there are lots of times when “inauthentic worship” is due to a lack of desire on the parishioner’s part and is not indicative of a broken church.

          • Will Carter

            I’ve also wrestled with this as a worship leader, but what I’ve come to realize is that ALL music manipulates people’s emotions—music that doesn’t is just called crappy music. I totally understand Bailey’s point, because I CAN’T STAND feeling like I’m having my emotions manipulated (come on, Sarah McLachlan, even the dogs think that’s a little heavy-handed), but I don’t think that using the intrinsic emotional power of music in order to help people worship God is a bad thing. In fact I would venture to say that that might be the whole reason God made us emotionally responsive to music in the first place. Now that’s not to condone all the fake and production-heavy “worship” services out there—if you’re not at least trying encounter God yourself, you’re not leading worship, you’re performing, which is at best pointless and at worst a self-centered perversion of worship.

            As for small groups, I wouldn’t say they’re a manufactured community at all (at least the way my church does them, I’m not really familiar with others), because the “common desire” (to reference your follow-up post) that the community is created around is Christ! We’re getting together because we all want to grow closer to God and know him better, and we’re all trying to figure out together how the heck this Christian life thing is supposed to work. And part of the beauty of it is that it often draws together people from all different social and economic situations, who would never normally interact with each other, to do life together with Christ. Man, I’m getting all emotional just thinking about it, lol.

            Thanks for this blog post, though, it’s stuff everyone in the church needs to wrestle through.

          • Ed Neely

            It is up to the individual worshiper to enter the worship service in an attitude of worship. I know that this is not easy. We all carry our own baggage from our daily lives, and that can’t be avoided, but the worship team can have a profound impact on the others in the service if their leadership in worship is authentic. Most people can see when they are just watching a show, but when the Holy Spirit takes control over a body of believers and you can feel the presence of God, THAT is when it gets real.

        • amoyer

          Maybe a better word is that small groups are intentional. It’s an opportunity for individuals to be intentional about how their relationships in community w/ others are being used to seek God, ask the tough questions about life, and challenge one another. I

      • James Marler

        Every community is a manufactured community. It’s manufactured by the people in it.
        I used to work at/go to a church that has a THRIVING life group presence. Those life groups (small groups) help people to stay connected to the church at large. Every teacher has been trained, every group is purposeful and every member important. When someone doesn’t show up to church on Sunday, it isn’t some nameless administrator that gives a generic scripted call to say a generic half-hearted “we missed you” when they didn’t really at all because they didn’t even notice that you weren’t there; it’s your life group leader (or in the case of some of our larger life groups, your team leader) who IS invested in your presence and has developed genuine relationship with you and misses you when you’re gone.
        And no one is plugged into a small group against their will. You try out different ones and find common interests or particular studies that you want to be a part of and you get connected. It doesn’t just help you, it helps the church and the Church.
        I get that not everyone likes it and not every church does it right, but brother you’ve got to be careful painting with such a huge brush. In one sentence you speak for every unchurched (ugh!) person, and in the next you smear the efforts of your brothers and sisters in Christ who are genuinely trying to follow what they feel like the Lord is telling them. I’m just saying, maybe put down that giant brush and do some fine-tipped pen work. 🙂

      • reardensteel

        Carlos, I think there’s something missing in how you’re explaining your distaste for small groups.

        I agree with you that the “manufactured” nature of sponsored groups is really lame.
        If this small group of people is not a group of friends who trust each other and get spiritual renewal and growth from being together, then it’s useless.

        However, a group of people who just get together for fun is not a source of spiritual growth either. That’s just hanging out, which is very important, but it doesn’t meet the need/purpose of a small group.

  • B.R. Wells

    We all want our churches to grow and thrive. That is wonderful. But the moment we compromise Biblical standards and speak less harshly about sin to do so, we forfeit our right to exist as a church. God created us to be salt and light, not sweet n’ low. A church should be a place a sinner feels welcome, but not one where they feel “comfortable” remaining lost.
    2 Timothy 4:2 says a preacher, in preaching, should “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

    REPROVE = expose or shed light on what’s wrong.
    REBUKE = warn, admonish, charge sharply
    EXHORT= beg, strive with to make a change

    While this should all be done from a place of love and an honest desire for people to “get right,” there is no excuse for the “cotton candy” preaching that is going on in many churches today. Softness from the pulpit is a huge factor in the lack of influence the church has over the world today. God needs men with backbone, unafraid to speak the truth, who also love and weep over the lost condition of men, and spiritual darkness in the world (and often the church.)

    • KC

      Too bad women don’t factor into your world.

      • B.R. Wells

        Too bad that the authority of God’s Word doesn’t factor into yours. You cannot be spiritually correct if you are Biblically wrong.

      • reardensteel

        I can’t speak for B.R., but he might have been using men as a generic term for humans.

  • I_am_Ben-o-matic

    Spot on man. Especially with small groups. I think small groups have the potential to be “life altering, game changers etc,” for some people, but sometimes, in all honesty, small groups can suck, be boring, dull etc. In fact, alot of the small groups that I have been a part of have come and go, Very Rarely have I seen a small group that has stood the test of time! Also, good point on music. I sometimes don’t understand why churches play secular music that have no relation to the message. Its like they just plucked a secular song out of midair and played it. I get churches trying to adapt to the culture nowadays, but sometimes, the best way of getting people through the door is being honest and true to itself!

  • Andy Gergen

    Monday night my small group (nonofficial church group) made spaghetti dinner for a bunch of people in the neighborhood of the home we meet in. We did more, and met more people that night than I have an any church sanctioned small group. In my experience, curriculum gets in the way of community. 2 cents dropped.

  • ChanceDM

    This is just my personal opinion, and I could be wrong. I like the idea of small groups, but I think there needs to be a transition and/or middle ground between the entire church service and small groups. There needs to be Sunday School groups or something similar at the church where people are comfortable going. Then, out of these groups people can form relationships then get to the point where they are comfortable going to other people’s houses. When I was a newcomer to a church, I didn’t feel comfortable, at a new church, signing up to go to random people’s houses. And yes, I know church isn’t about what’s “comfortable”, but I think it takes baby steps to form real relationships.

  • just want to worship truly

    I feel more and more that the girl up there singing is so distracting by all that pointing and gyrating. I want to see more of Jesus and less of that girl. I try not to look at her, but she’s always drawing attention to herself. I also notice how many men are pretty interested in how she is swaying her hips to the music because she’s so “in the spirit!” Get out of the way, girl, and allow us to see Him!

    • Shaun

      wow…..

    • reardensteel

      Take a look at some recent pictures of popular women in Christian music.
      Mia Fieldes comes to mind, but there are many others.
      It’s not hard to see that the CCM industry uses lust to sell its wares.

  • Taryn Hofert

    so. so. good. you get it, los.

  • chimichanga choo choo train

    Los,

    So many of your posts make me SOOO glad I go to a small church, where nearly of the balogna you talk about happens!

    I don’t even know what a professional church staff person is…

    Correct me if I’m reading it wrong, but I read a little bit of contradction. In #2 you say don’t sing pop songs in the attempt to make the church seem relevant or trendy, but then in #4 you talk about how we should call those small group things something else, and do different things with them because they’re too weird; as if small groups should be MORE relevant and trendy. I don’t think pop songs belong in church, period, and our church doesn’t have small groups, so I really can’t relate, so maybe I’m missing that whole thing.

    That being said, in response to the church doing weird things…Christians do weird things because we ARE weird. The Bible calls us a “peculiar people.” We act strange because our spirits are no longer dead, but have been resurrected and the Holy Spirit of God dwells within us. We act differently, speak differently, and think differently, because our natures have changed. The very inner core of our nature has been reunited with God; our bodies, minds, and spirits have been sanctified and set apart for His use. We don’t go out of our way to BE weird, we just are, because we have been changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not a concious decision to act strange, we’ve just been changed. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me, ” and if there is one guy the world ever thought was weird, it was this Christ guy.

    • chimichanga choo choo train

      Sorry, typo…#1 is where you talked about singing pop songs.

  • Brian Metzger

    A friend shared your post and I had some thoughts as a pastor. #1. Agreed. On Sunday we’re doing what we do as the saints assembled. It’s a pretty old gig that goes back 2000 years in one form or another. I agree that it’s annoying to find yourself getting up early on a Sunday morning for church and find yourself in this dark, smokey room that seems more Club than Cathedral. But help me here, you all seem to be FLOCKING to a church down the road that is doing the very thing you’re decrying. So, are you the voice of your generation, the “demographic” or just an outlier dude? Please clarify. Either way, you’re welcome here and I’d welcome your help getting a handle on this. Oh, and while we’re clarifying – how do you NOT expect singing at church? (#2) You’re making me all confused. First you want us to be ourselves and then you tell us that’s weird. Dang. This pastoring gig is harder than they told me it would be. I’ve been to rock concerts, pub concerts, intimate hall concerts and giant spectacle concerts none of which were Christian. Turns out, singing, hand raising and doing pretty songs without explanations seems to be, um, normal and not Christian at all, even with an invisible God, just human. At a recent Bruce Cockburn concert the crowd took over on a few songs and by the time we ended with “Wondering Where the Lions Are” we not only were swaying together but people were working out harmonies. Maybe it’s a generation thing. #3 I feel you. Believe it or not, not everyone texts yet and have you ever tried to send a text while you’re juggling a crying baby who just barfed up their cheerios on your new shirt? Harder than you might think. We’re trying. Sorry you’re embarrassed that your child needs you but honestly, nobody is taking notes or paying attention to who gets up for what. Next time just shout, “I can’t hold it any longer!” and run with your legs crossed as if you need to pee REAL bad. That should save you the embarrassment. Seriously, leave your number, we’ll text you if our staff can do that but what I promise is that we’ll treat your little one with great love and care and won’t get you unless they are in distress. As a dad who is a pastor who was called into the nursery to get his son who was biting all the other kids, I know embarrassed. And #4, I get it. I’m like you, I don’t really like pre-fabricated groups. But you know, some people do. Some people need that little bit of help in order to make connections, meet new people and have some confidence that there is a familiar structure around which this interaction can take place. It may surprise you, my demographic friend, that not everyone is like you. We all get by with a little help from our friends and for some of us that means we need you or someone to create an “official space” where that can happen. Some of us don’t. That’s why being in a Life/Home/Kin/Small group is a choice and not a mandatory requirement here. It’s also why we, here at our church, will say again and again that the best groups are friendships that you do life with. So build a fire, crack open a few beers and see who shows up. #5. Agreed. I’m straight. Born that way. I’d be angry if I showed up and everyone at church said I was welcome and then made it clear that I had to switch my attraction to the other gender in order to belong. I don’t even know how a person can do that. So let’s grab a coffee, have some conversation and I’ll do my best to share my head and heart and listen while you do the same. Honestly, we aren’t targeting you as a demographic but I hope you have friends here who will invite you along to find life in the things where they’ve found life. Signed, Professional Church Staff Dude

    • Mandy

      Awesome response!!!! Where is this church?

  • Aaron Sowma

    1. Not sure why churches would try and be something they’re not. It’s so tiring and unproductive. But are we refering to being what we aren’t, or trying to be more polished than we are… both have consequences, but one of those isn’t neccessarily a bad thing; we should all always want to be better at what ever it is we do.

    2. Really?!? Singing is weird. I’m not sure I agree with you. Perhaps you mean it’s awkward for people to sing songs they don’t know, or that it’s weird that we’re singing that God is awesome, but maybe they don’t know God, so God and His singers make them feel awkward. BUT,most of culture, anywhere, even here in South Korea revolves around some ear buds with music blazzin!

    3. In Korea usually one parent stays with the kid until they’re 4 years or so… we don’t have jumbotron call numbers. Weird 😉

    4. Are we talking about making small group for non-members required? We suggest that it is beneficial to be in a small group, but it’s not technically required, especially for people who are not leaders and “members.”

    On another note for number four, if it’s not a social anxiety order, and we’re just talking about preference… from an American who has lived in South Korea for 7 years’ perspective, this “I prefer something different” is rather indicitive of our really catered culture of “I only do the things I like and feel comfortable with” mentality in America. It seems to me that EVERYONE on some level is doing something they don’t like. But that’s not what being a Christian is anyways; making everyone feel comfortable. We as people, deep down inside, don’t really want to follow after the majority of the things that Christ calls us to be and do. that doesn’t change when you are saved, it just means that Christ is/should be more important than our desires. It’s not a magic fix though. I don’t think perpetuating that personality should be the calling of the church. Working through and past that, yes, but perpetuating it, no. And I hope we can agree that getting dinner and a beer, which is similar to what we did at my first church in Korea doesn’t automagically provide transparancy and community or accountability. Some people find it easier to tell people who aren’t their best friends what they struggle with and what troubles they face. I teach English to different adults in Korea who will say almost anything and open up about anything because I am not in their life every day.

    Anyways, this really isn’t an either/or situation. Just love people and figure out the best way to do that where you are, are located, the people that do show up to your church. I think you know that, but are playing the either/or game to stir people up. Congrats!

  • HipsterWorshipLeader

    Katy Perry’s “Roar”? Please, we’re playing Mumford & Sons… the ones w/ the curse words! #EdgyTargetMarket

  • Melissa

    As an introvert at heart, I am terrified of the “small group”, almost as much as the please say hi to someone around you before we start this worship set. Um, I barely got myself through the door and I tried to be late so I wouldn’t have to do this…

  • xhawkx9000
  • russyowassup

    Dear Church,

    Can you please get out of the way altogether so that my glory can reach the guy or girl you are trying to reach?

    Toodles,
    GOD.

  • Jimmy Edwards

    Dear contemporary church pastor, worship leader, et al….
    My wife and I appreciate the contemporary music used at your services. On the other hand, however we feel uncomfortable with the notion you are pushing across that small groups are more important than big church–also that to be really accepted as a part of your church that we need to join a group, and before we can join a group we have to attend a new member’s class that does not meet every month. Since my wife and I work different shifts each month, your expectations for faithful church membership really stretch us thin. Also, when you make us stand up, greet everyone, and make us hug and chest bump our brothers and sisters in Christ–things I really feel uncomfortable doing, what guarantee is that we will talk to the same people at that time next week? Also we don’t appreciate the fact that you are so inaccessible that you have your own picks and chooses as far as friends go. Before we commit to membership at a church, we really would like to meet you and discuss our dreams and expectations with you. But you like to lead the life of a celebrity and keep strangers like us away from you. To me it sounds like you’re putting a millstone around potential members like us; and unless you change we will take our need for worship and fellowship to another body of believers that is not as manipulative and controlling as yours.

  • laurely282

    In a word – snarky.