Post to church leaders wondering why visitors don’t return

Recently I got a bit burned out on my church. There are some fundamental differences between the church’s beliefs and my beliefs. By this I mean, I take a bit more inspired view of the bible rather than literal and I believe that parents’ should baptize their children. Some other things were going on at the church that tipped the scales toward not being able to sit in church and accept these differences. So, I went church shopping to find a church that was closer to my beliefs.

I got to tell you for churches that really want to be inviting to visitors so that the visitors will decide to become members are really missing the mark by not realizing all that visitors look at when they visit. I do have a big pet peeve, which is that I expect young children who are in the worship service to behave. I will warn you now that a lot of what got me about churches were how children behaved during the worship service. But, if I can’t focus on God during the service than why do I want to spend an hour sitting in a room trying to tune out children.

First, if you are going to be miked, then turn it up loud enough so that those that sit in the back rows of the church can hear you. I do not have a hearing problem so when I can’t hear you than most others can’t either. Remember, that most visitors sit in the back so they have a very different view of the service than most everyone else.

One time I ran out of the church as soon as the service was over because I could tell the focus of the church was the child. I should mention here that I don’t have children. Anyway, I walked in few minutes before the service started. The only seats available were folding chairs toward the back of the sanctuary. Wow, I thought, this church has a very large congregation. Well, as soon as the children’s sermon was over, half the church seats were open. Yep, I was sitting on a folding chair because the children had filled the church. No, that wasn’t what drove me running from the church. One child about 4 years old that was “sitting” right in front of me began to pitch a bit of a fit when it was time for the children to go to their cool activities. So, the mother allowed the child to stay in the church. As I tried to worship God, the child walked up and down the pew. When he got bored doing that, he began to roll on the floor. The church floor got a good dusting on that day. In other words, he moved the entire rest of the service. At least he was quiet. Then, during the sermon a child began to cry very loudly on the other side of the sanctuary from me. Did the parents immediately make their way out of the sanctuary so that the child could be quieted outside the sanctuary? Nope, the pastor had to try to talk over the crying child.

Recently, I went to a church that I had decided I would make it work no matter what. Unfortunately, after one visit, I decided my first decision was wrong. A girl that was about 5 years old was quietly entertained during the entire service by her grandmother. The were sitting directly in front of me so I got a show the entire time. I don’t mean just during the sermon and they stood up during hymns and other times. The entire time the grandmother “babysat” the girl. The looked a children’s magazine most of the time. But, at one point the grandmother began to comb the girl’s hair to entertain her. This went on even while we stood up for the Lord’s Prayer. Then, a girl a year or two older caught my attention. As we were saying the Lord’s Prayer she was dancing in the pew and pantomiming talking on the phone. The parents’ did nothing to stop her actions.

In regards to children, do the parents not realize how much of a distraction they are as they try to quiet their child? Why are they partaking in the worship service if their attention is on their child and not God? How do others sit in the church and worship God if the child is making so much noise? If a child needs to be entertained during church, how much are they getting out of the service? Do they not realize that for someone who may be a bit ADD, that much movement is very distracting? Finally, I once heard that worship is in a way a show for God where you are giving him your attention in way to show your love for Him. Is this being portrayed when you spend the entire service quieting a child, entertaining a child, trying to tune out your child or another child? Do you want a visitor to spend the entire service seeing that your focus is on everything but God?

On a side note, I really dislike the friendship time of the church where you have to stand up and greet those around you. It seems to be a trend that is here to stay but I really don’t like it. With that said, it also bothers me that some feel that it is okay to make the time before church a social time in the sanctuary. I like to get there a few minutes early to have a bit of quiet time to prepare to worship. It is hard to spend time with God when it is social hour. That could just be me, but are we are church for God for others. I have to say that when others are so tolerate of the bad behavior around them, it sends a message to me that church is just a formality for them to be seen in church to be socially correct rather than being there to worship God.

During the service, you may not have much say on how people behave. However, you need to take it up with the church leaders on how to let the congregation know how they look to others. Many times, it is the congregation that is asking what is wrong with this church that visitors don’t return we do all that we are supposed to welcome them. As I went from church to church, at one point I felt like a secret shopper. May I suggest that you have members of your congregation come to church as a visitor. Ask them to view the service as someone would who is looking for a new church home. Don’t ask are we doing the right things, ask what are we doing that is sending the wrong message to our visitors. Ask yourself, if someone wrote a post about their church experiences as I have done, would I be embarrassed if they mentioned our church by name.

So, where did I end up when it came to church. I went back to my old church. Yes, there are still some differences that I have to accept. When I went back, I ended up with a small child sitting behind me the entire time talking. As a visitor it would bother me more than it did and I would probably not return. But, because I knew it was not the norm, I tolerated it and decided that I need to find a new favorite place to sit in the church. And, maybe that is part of it, the behavior I saw is not the norm for your church. However, I am a visitor and what my first impression of a service will dictate whether I want to return for a second impression.

(To those who may make negative comments about Christianity, Jesus, or churches, your comments will be deleted.)


Christians massacred and persecuted

Christians are massacred and not a word is said. Over 500 people, including women and children, and not a word is said. When will we speak out loudly that Christians are persecuted and killed all over the globe and nothing is done. In fact, it has become politically correct to persecute Christians in the USA, which was founded on the freedom of religion. It means that we are allowed to practice and promote our Christian faith, not that we have to hide it behind words like Winter Holiday or Spring Holiday. While the beginnings might have ties to other celebrations, Christmas has come to stand for the day that Jesus Christ was born as Easter represents the day he gave his life for us so that our sins may be forgiven and we could have eternal life. There is but one God that we worship. Although we do sin by allowing other gods into our lives. And, just as a point, God is almighty and can do so much that our human minds cannot even comprehend.

While others seem to think that Obama is the anointed one and a messiah, he is just a man who managed to be elected to the highest office in the land. I must say that the way he has been treated reminds me of the way the Egyptians treated their pharaohs. They thought they would last forever, but they were just humans who died and were buried forever.

From Gateway Pundit

My thoughts on socialism

This afternoon I saw a bumper sticker about socialism. It got me to thinking about socialism and this country. Have you noticed that those who seem to want to bring socialism to this country are wealthy? What benefit would they receive from bring on socialism to the country?

I remember the first time I heard about socialism was when I was 10 years old. It was in a small village in Central Italy. There was a flag on an apartment for a socialist party. My father explained to me that in Europe there were multiple political parties and that many may be represented in politics. This was also a time when I learned about World War II. It began a fascination with post WWI and WWII European history and the politics of those times.

I think about this as I reflect on the bumper sticker. It said something about socialism from the bottom up. I begin to wonder, why we don’t hear from those who are told that they will prosper from socialism? Why is it that those who are very wealthy, and it seems those who would not prosper are pushing for socialism? What do they have to gain from bringing socialist ideas to this country?

Of course, this reminds me of the end of the novel, Animal Farm. Some pigs are more equal than other pigs. While everyone toils for so called socialism equality, what do those who are in political power positions have to gain. This is the question we need to ask and get answered by them.

So, Nancy, Harry and Barack, what do you have to gain from what you are shoving down our throats? What personal gains will be made by you if we have public option health care, nationalization of banks, car industry, private sector jobs? You are not doing it for this country, because you are all about personal gains, so what is your personal gain? Is it to ensure that you are more equal than those who employ you, the citizens of this country?

Remember Obama, when you said health care is not about you, because you and every member of Congress has really good health care. In fact, it is the same health care that you promised last year on the campaign trail. Of course, now, you want us to have the public option while it isn’t good enough for you or every member of Congress.

Diversity while Christian programs are axed

Here are two different articles that end up being about the same thing.
I saw the news that NPR is axing Christian radio programs yesterday. Here is an exerpt that explains why it has decided that no shows about Christianity will be allowed on air.

NPR changes format

The rule, which takes effect May 1, means that any NPR stations carrying religious programming must cease and desist that programming as of that date. In explaining its decision in a similar matter, PBS — another federally funded media outlet — says it “places a high value on presenting diverse perspectives, as opposed to rigidly adhering to any single political or religious point of view.” Allowing such programming, it continues, “would cause the public’s trust in PBS to erode, along with the value of the brand.”

It doesn’t seem like much and it could be that it will stop all religious shows, including Judaism, Islamic, Buddhist, etc and all music that is based on religion. We will have to see what ends up happening.

But, then I noticed this press release from a few days ago. It announces the names of those who will be on the fairness diversity committee. I notice that as many groups that are represented there are no Christian groups represented. Yet, Christians can be the most persecuted groups in the world. Also, how afraid are you to wear or present your faith in public?

From Radio Ink

Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps has announced the full membership of the commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age….(names on on committee)Copps said, “I am extremely pleased to announce the membership of this vital Advisory Committee, which will provide an important and independent voice for strengthening our commitment to diversity. The sad truth is that the diversity of this great nation is not reflected in the ownership of its media and telecommunications facilities. The time has come to chart a new course, to roll up our sleeves and get to work to craft sustainable solutions.”

By the way, the meeting is on May 7th at 10AM and is open to the public. Anyone in the DC area that can attend should and speak for us since no one else will speak for us.

Muslim mob attacks Christian women

Is this the moderate Taliban that Obama wants to improve relations with? Is this a group that Obama wants to be around? What does Obama think about treatment of women in this manner? As a Christian, does Obama feel like Christians are being persecuted? Why do we hear nothing about it?

Thanks Gateway Pundit

From Christian News Today

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Noor Husain, the father of a Muslim woman who eloped with a Christian man, led a mob of his neighbors and friends in an attack on his village’s only church in Pakistan’s Punjab province. After desecrating the church, the men forced their way into Christian homes, dragged out the women, and paraded them forcefully on the streets.

The assault, which occurred several months ago, so terrified the Christian community that 21 families fled, leaving only four Christian families who are still in the village.

“Petrified Christians locked their homes and fled to their relatives, living in other villages and cities, to save their lives,” said Ashraf Masih, a Christian resident who has remained in the village.

Several Christians were injured, including two women whose teeth were broken.

After the incident, local politicians attempted to set up a “Peace Committee” to reconcile the two groups in lieu of requesting that the police get involved. When that effort failed, the Christians finally approached the police with a formal complaint, but as of press time police had not taken any action to prosecute the assault.

Ashraf is still hopeful that the Peace Committee will be able to work out a resolution to the conflict.

The incident occurred in Kot Lakha Singh village in Narrowal district, Punjab, Pakistan.

Once again, where are the feminists crying out about this treatment of women?

Pope tells Pelosi

I will state very clearly I am not Catholic, but I have a deep respect for the church.  By saying that I have always taken the stand that I don’t agree with some of its beliefs and thus I have made the decision not to become Catholic.  It is why I prefer the protestant churches that tend to incorporate liturgy into the services.  Go figure why I attend a contemporay nondenominational church.  But, as I stated, I believe that if you are a Catholic, you need to stand by the beliefs of the church.  I also believe that you can’t use being a Catholic when it suits you.  You know, you never go to mass or confession until it is election time and you decide that it would be a great photo op to be seen attending a mass.  Or if you speak of being pro-choice in the same sentence as being Catholic because you need to get the pro-choice voters at the same time you get the Catholic voters.   Well, you can’t have it both ways, you can’t be Catholic when it suits you, it is something that means something to many people.  Many people have died for their Catholic beliefs.  If you can’t stand for it, then don’t use it!

Pelosi Pope No Meeting of Minds

I have to say I am very proud of the Pope for what he said.  Didn’t think I would be a fan of this Pope, but so far I like what he says.   Btw, I have been blessed by two Popes and I hope to have the chance to be blessed by another.  Oh, and if you have a problem with the Catholic church, don’t post it here.  Remember, I am not Catholic but I respect the history of the church and those who are Catholic.