Today is Friday the 13th. If you are going to a camp this weekend and you are in your 20's or 30's (or older)--you will be thinking about the Friday the 13th movies. And you may not get much sleep either if you are at a camp called Camp Crystal Lake.
Whether we realize it or not, many of us are superstitous folks. We wear certain outfits for job interviews. A certain routine is completed before we play our respective sports. And of course--there are the Christianese (the language of Jesus' followers that we may not even notice) superstitutions and rituals that we follow...........
"This is my seat/pew/view of the pastor"--You will find this in many churches. Especially with those that have people who have been members of the church for a very long time. People start to think that this seat is golden--and they may miss out on the Gospel if they sit elsewhere. We must encourage people to mix it up at church. Move the pulpit. Move chairs. Heck, get rid of the chairs and make people sit on the floor. Do something different. Visitors will be uncomfortable if they get barked at for taking a seat that "belongs to a saint".
"But I have been serving in (name a ministry) for many years"--Longevity does not always equal productivity. In fact, longevity can produce alot of stagnant folks who are comfortable. I am not suggesting that all people whom have served for a long time are ineffective. Definitely not my intention. However, when you are in the same area for a long time, you have to evaluate YOURSELF. It is easy to evaluate your pastors, priests, church board members, and other leaders--but evaluate YOURSELF.
1. Why am I helping in this area of the church/community?
2. Am I helping out of obligation or joy?
"How dare our church services/worship change!"--This statement is always astonishing to hear for several reasons. First, I thought it was God's church. Second, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. We must admit that our services should be visitor-friendly. If our services are only for the members/regular attenders, then we are a country club and we should shut our doors immediately. Our focus needs to be on more of the Gospel and less focused on sin management. I have heard people say that they like knowing what to expect at their church. My response to that is, "are you expecting the Gospel or the same ole' thing?"
If we are expecting the Gospel to be preached and prepared for new ways of "doing church" whenever we go to church--we are on the right track. Remember this, when God is truly using us--it will not look all structured and ritual-like as we have made much of Christianity (aka Christianese).