Occasionally I have shared with you all that I (as well as every pastor I respect who is reaching the unchurched) will sometimes here a faint splash in the waters surrounding the brook that has me somewhat concerned.
I donâ€™t hear it often, but enough to know what it meansâ€¦
Someone has jumped ship again due to the fact that they werenâ€™t feeling like they were getting fed.
I say â€˜feeling,â€™ by the way, because in reality they are spiritual porkers since they havenâ€™t worked any of that excess spiritual weight off in years with good old fashioned application.
Nevertheless, they have this contradictory perception.
Maybe itâ€™s a lack of spiritual fruits in their life.
Iâ€™ve heard low levels of fruit can lead to spiritual scurvy.
Hereâ€™s what happened the first timeâ€¦
InÂ the morning I received this email from a staff member,
Subject: interesting comment
I was meeting with Joe Shmoe (not his real name), pastor of First Church of none of your business. We were talking about preaching styles. In our conversation, he mentioned a comment from someone who is helping him start First Church, someone who used to attend Southbrook. The comment was not critical, simply an observation: â€œYou’re preaching has shifted noticeably over the last year, from ‘seeker’ to more Bible oriented. (not a bad thing, but the shift is noticeable). The comment was, “He used to do things to get people’s attention, like ride in on motorcycles, etc. While I still love the preaching, I miss the attention getters.
“I thought it was worth noting…
Later that same day I must have run into 5 or 6 relatively new to brand, spanking new families to Southbrook who are seeing God rock their world, but then there was that oneâ€¦
It too wasnâ€™t bad, just another contribution to the drive Rob to the funny farm crusade.
Hereâ€™s the gist of the second commentâ€¦
Oh, we donâ€™t go anymore because weâ€™ve noticed such a push for seekers that we just didnâ€™t feel like we were getting fed enough anymore.
How is that even possible?!The 2 comments are polar opposites!
Everyoneâ€™s sitting at the same table where most are developing into spiritual Olympians yet others just keep watching the food pass them by as they drift from the category of â€˜finicky eaterâ€™ all the way to having a spiritual eating disorder that threatens their very spiritual existence?!
Do they really want to hear me sing â€œHere comes the plane, open the hanger,â€ as I zoom the meat carrying fork in dangerous high G-force turns toward their gaping hole called a mouth?
I hope not, because Iâ€™m not going to do it.
So, you can probably see why I sometimes feel like its one step forward in shepherding people and two steps back.
Not so hard to see why I fear the whole thingâ€™s driving me crazyâ€¦
Even scarier the more I realize that critical distance could probably be reached at this point with a short putt.