The next to the last article of this series touches on this ‘barrier to church attendance’; “I don’t go to church because the Pastor . . . “(fill in the blank). As Reverend Thomas says, “Worship is about a perfect God, not imperfect Pastors.” The list of examples Reverend Thomas provides is lengthy and, in her own words, incomplete. You have probably heard many before.
Most of these excuse examples, regarding what the Pastor ‘doesn’t’ do for the church or congregation, place a near impossible burden on Pastors. We heard some examples when our Pastor preached to us about “not feeling fed”. Don’t look to the Pastor for feel good stuff. Look to the Bible, life around you, and in your own heart.
Let’s face it, we are not like Jesus. We are human; even our Pastors. They, like us, are prone to human failures and foibles. If we look upon them as something more, we provide distinct awareness that “we are watching for failure every moment.”
As Reverend Thomas states, “we become most aware of God’s image residing in us when we accept full responsibility for who we are and what we feel.” Blaming anyone else, especially the Pastor, is a reflection of us and our humanness. In other words, quit blaming the Pastor and look at your own soul. Worship is the ‘one’ activity that only humans are privileged to perform. Other biological creatures can show feelings, form societies, and build things. They can play, share tasks, and watch over each other. But only WE can worship and acknowledge our privilege to know God. I pray we take it seriously and joyfully, as Disciples of Jesus Christ.
Next week is the last article in this series and will summarize the top excuses why people don’t go to church. Thank you for your encouragement in these months of writing. It is a privilege to serve you.
Virgil Aldag, C.L.M.