Monday, December 19, 2011

Plodder goes to church, not his own, Part 2

I wouldn't claim to be morally superior or more spiritual than my dear readers...but I did attend not one but two churches yesterday morning, and that within five minutes of each other. Sort of like scoring two touchdowns seconds apart, eh? How many did you attend?

There'a a small, SBC church down the road. We entered about 10:55 and sat down. We were the 39th and 40th person in attendance. No anonymity in a church of 40. Heads turned. Seventy-six eyeballs locked on the two strangers, er, visitors. That's OK if someone takes time to speak, which they did. When I read in the bulletin that they were doing their children's play for the 11 am service, I sought out the pastor and explained that we would leave but would come back on another Sunday when he was preaching. We will return.

About a mile up the road is another Baptist church, this one is of the independant persuasion. We arrived after the service started but found a comfortable seat (no pews here, they have a brand spanking new building) on the back row.

This average-sized church, 130 or so, was saying goodbye to their longtime music minister. The brother was not only singing and leading but has been asked to preach. He preached better than most any other music minister I've ever heard (a small number to be sure).

He had obviously been hanging around Baptist preacher types long enough to have been infected with the alliteration virus - two main points, six sub-points, and nine sub-sub points. Alas. And why? At least the alliteration bore some resemblance to the text he used, a trait sometimes lost with experienced SBC pastors who have a fetish for alliteration. He did a good job, although he did decry how churches are cancelling services on Sunday nights, blah blah blah. I've rather enjoyed a stretch of no Sunday PM churchgoing.

The score for Plodder is: Five Sunday morning church services, zero pastors preaching a message. I'm betting on zero-for-six after next Sunday, Christmas day. Go figure.

Worthy of note: If I turn left out of my driveway and go three miles, I will have passed three Baptist churches...and I live in the country. They say there is greater need for pastors and churches elsewhere in the world.

But hey, I did score a personal invitation to one of the megachurches not too far away. Will hit the mega in 2012.


Bob Hadley said...

Question for you?

I read this statement this morning and am wondering how it "squares" with irresistible grace?

"Wondering this morning how many prayed for Messiah's kingdom to come before Christ was born but missed it b/c they were expecting something different...and how often I pray the same (Luke 11:2) with my own agenda at heart and, thus, set myself up to miss God's plan b/c I have my heart set on something different."

Your thoughts?

Grateful to be in His Grip!


William Thornton said...

Generally agree, Bob. Obviously, Jesus' contemporaries were looking for a different Messiah.

I'm always suspicious of those brethren/sistren who have every aspect of doctrine locked down and tight.

John Notestein said...

I rarely comment, but I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog. These series of church visiting posts are great! Thanks for sharing and I'll keep looking forward to them.

William Thornton said...

THanks, John. I am a very inexperienced church visitor, since the churches I have pastored for 30 years have all expected me to show up every Sundays.

Matt said...

Maybe this will catch on and lots of people will start blogging about their experiences visiting churches.

Then we'd be forced to make a good impression, or suffer shame and ridicule. Experience bears out that noting motivates good ole' Baptists like guilt and embarrassment!

William Thornton said...

I'm guessing, Matt, that most pastors aren't fully aware of the impressions visitors get in their church.