This Church Is Not Your Old Church

If you want my church to be like the one you just left: go back there.



“Our last church did bake sales to raise money, you should try that.”

“The last church we went to had live animals in the Christmas play, we should do that.”

“Last church we attended had an arcade for the kids, why don’t we have an arcade?”

I’ve never understood people telling their new church to be like the one they left. Look, if your last church was so great, if they had the winning recipe, then please go back. Please, I beg you. Just go.

In all the suggestions I’ve heard about what my church should do that their old church did, I’ve yet to hear, “We should have longer sermons” or “there should be more Scripture reading.” Nope, it’s always some froufrou gimmick guaranteed to “bring them in.”

Our church never did regular Communion. When I came it never crossed my mind with all the stuff that was wrong with the place, it wasn’t at the top of my list. I’m not defending that either, I’m just stating the facts.

“How come we don’t do Communion more?” I was asked one Sunday. Hm, I never thought about it, but yup, that had slipped through the cracks, and what a terrible thing to have slipped. We immediately began doing Communion on a regular basis.

There are times when people are right and they make good suggestions, but that is about the only one I’ve heard that was biblical in nature.

But the amount of times I’ve heard criticism over our style of music, ways to raise money that involve manipulating other people into paying our bills, or how we should market, is ridiculous.

Few care if we do church biblically, most never assume the Bible has much to say about what a church should do. But you know, we must adjust to what every other church out there is doing.

The Church-Industrial complex doesn’t help. The Big Name Pastors with their Big Box Churches write their books telling us shlub pastors why we are so shlubby. “Just be like us and get results like us. Here’s the formula. Put it in place and just add water.”

The Bible slips down our list of consultants for church operation. What the cool churches do and what my mom’s church did become the Gold Standard. If you don’t meet that, and everyone has a different standard just to make it more fun, then your church sucks.

I’ve just resigned myself to have a church that sucks. I honestly don’t care anymore. “Yeah, we suck” has become my new church motto.

I’m going to stand before the Lord some day and give an account for how I did my job and what went on in this church. I will not be judged by your mom, by the church down the road, nor the Megachurch Pastor lecturing me on my patheticness. I will stand before God.

No one else in my church is in that same position of responsibility. I give them a break, they don’t know and most are trying to help. But I will give an account and I’m doing my best to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Although, I gotta admit, an arcade would be cool. Maybe there’s a thing in Deuteronomy about that.



When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details.
–2 Kings 16:10

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