Doesn’t take much to stir me up these days. Consider these.
Who will be the first brave pastor who bans service dogs from his church service? I see these dogs around and read about them being everywhere – airplanes, businesses, schools – you name it. Now, I’m seeing one at church for worship. The cute mutt isn’t a problem so far as I know, and I’m sympathetic to the human handler. I don’t know if the dog is in training or is for the emotional well being of the handler. I do know that I really don’t care to worship with dogs. Perhaps someone will enlighten me. There are people who have pet allergies. The irascibility factor in my attitude here came when an alleged service dog jumped on the beverage dispenser of the business I happened to be visiting. Maybe he just wanted a sip of Coke or something.
The SBC is showing an increase in the number of churches. I wouldn’t call this the only glimmer of long term hope for our grand denomination but it is significant. The new churches are real churches. That is, they exist on the ground…with an address…and a pastor who has a name, which hasn’t always been the case. Sure, many of these eschew the term “Baptist” in their name but all that are supported by NAMB are SBC in the sense that the (a) affirm the BFM, (b) give to the CP, and (c) are connected to an established SBC church. The irascibility factor arises over those who mindlessly criticize and complain about this. Apparently, the SBC as a whole is supportive given the record Annie Armstrong offering.
I’m not much impressed by anyone’s so-called world view these days. It looks to this irascible curmudgeon that to trot out a “biblical world view” is to mindlessly use the phrase as a trump card (no pun intended) to justify whatever happens to be one’s political stance on any issue. Authentic Christians can disagree on most political issues.
There is a website that scores churches on their LGBTQ friendliness or acceptance. The site does so on the basis of what is on a church website. Fine by me. I would offer another way to score. Any church, denomination, or minister who makes a statement that strings together these words and phrases can be considered to be language unfriendly but LGBTQ affirming: “hopeful waiting for the emergence of a more faithful path forward…stand before you in the hopeful conviction…together we will see that still more excellent way…dare to believe that way will be a witness in and of itself…a path to a new season of thriving…”
I was in the big box hardware store last week. It’s not even Halloween and nice Christmas trees and other Christmas season decorations are already up. Bah humbug!
Those SBC churches that do a complete Annual Church Profile can call my state convention office and get instant data trends for their church. Nice service provided by the convention. But wait: in an average sized church the pastor doggone well knows exactly what the trends are and if the leadership of a large church doesn’t know, maybe they are too big. Oh well, if a prospective pastor or the new pastor needs to get a good look at things for the past decade or so, this is a good way to do it.
I read that only 2% of NFL fans have ever actually been to a game. Shoot, all the churches I pastored did much better than that. My ‘worst’ church had maybe 25% of membership who had never attended a service during my tenure. By the time I left, I got that figure down to the NFL average. I’ll share the secret if anyone wants to know.
Are we really all that big these days on discipleship? It’s the Grand Ecclesiastical Buzzword of the 21st century. I was puzzled when I first saw a church-oriented speaker offer life coaching, discipling, for a fee.
Whatever happened to mentoring? I understand paying honoraria for speakers at leadership conferences and the like. I don’t understand telling young or prospective church planters that you will be glad to meet and help them…for a fee.
It’s almost sad to watch the decline of a once-sensible and informative popular SBC blog. Looks like if you sue one of the SBC entities you will get promoted to the front of the queue there. Ignorance or agenda? Who knows?