Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Recipe for Church, part 1

Any cursory read of the new testament will let you in on just what God expects His church to do and be. For example, it's pretty obvious that loving each other is a big deal in any dynamic of a church. Also, to be a real church, you'll have to believe in God, and have people attending it, whether you're a house church or one of the "mega" flavor. There are other Biblical criteria too, which, if you're reading this blog, you probably already know.

Many times, I've blogged about all of those unwritten expectations that churches have. These expectations are almost canon, meaning that they are almost as essential to some congregations as the Word itself. They are traditions that you could take or leave, with emphasis on the "take". It also seems like there are certain necessary people in churches. You won't see too many churches without noticing that there are always certain personalities and roles that are common to most churches. Today, we're going to look at a hodgepodge of the good, bad and ugly of some of the more esoteric human ingredients of church. These are some of the people that most non-mega churches have in their ranks:


1. One Pony Tail Guy (between the ages of 40-55)
Usually these guys are bikers, or ex-bikers, musicians and/or from California, transplanted to the mid-west. They're usually in some kind of leadership role, and, in the church where they serve, you can bet that there are at least...

2. Two People Who Don't Like Long Hair on Guys
Again, you'll find 'em. And they will speak out. And they really don't like male pony tails in leadership. Also, you'll have these same people railing against piercings, tattoos and jeans in church, especially when you have...

3. A Youth Who Served Communion in Jeans and/or Shorts
And, if they're jean shorts, look out. The pitchforks and torches are not far behind. This kid loves Jesus and doesn't care what he wears when he's serving Him. Therefore, I always like this kid. Sometimes, he'll be the son of a...

4. Director
Usually of the children's variety, although sometimes worship or even youth, directors are the title churches sometimes give to women when they are overseeing a ministry. Here is where churches may play a little fast and loose with titles. It seems like a Biblical loophole almost, like God is tricked because these women don't have the title of minister, therefore they can oversee a ministry, even though they are women. And, so, God's alright with it. (No, I don't think God can be tricked. This is sarcasm. Don't send me any nasty letters! It's a joke!) As for me, I think it would be cool to have a director on staff. We could make some really cool short films! Although, the director would have to work well with....

5. The Overburdened, Unpaid Resident Tech Genius
This guy knows all, does all and wires all. There's always one, and he (or, if the person's a director, she) can power all of Altoona with a gerbil on a wheel. And, he or she can make your praise band sound like they could open for .38 Special at a county fair. Sometimes, he's also the pony tail guy, so, if you're starting a church, you can fill two positions with one person. His son or daughter is usually the...

6. Drummer for the Youth Group
This is the kid that can bring drums into your church service if you don't already have them. Pony Tail Tech Guy's kid can do no wrong, and usually they're a very low key kid, the kind that quietly loves Jesus, the kind of youth that older folks can get behind, even when the snare drum is piercing their ear drum. Usually he talks a lot with the...

7. Older Guy Who Seems Like He Should Be an Elder, But Never Will Be.
Either because he doesn't want to, or because of a lack of Biblical knowledge, or because he's got something in his past that, in the minds of leadership, disqualify him from Elding, he's not an Elder but seems like he should be. This guy is really wise, Godly, loving and has a great temperment. But he might be a member of a lodge, or can't recite the Beattitudes, or he beat up his brother in 5th grade, thereby excluding him from service. Sometimes, he just has no stomach for church politics. In this case, put him on the fast track to elder right away. He'd be a great mentor to the...

8. The Dave Matthews Wanna-Be Worship Minister.
They wear khakis and totally rock the acoustic guitar. They have a receding hair line. Very receding. They throw in really cool guitar licks during worship, but are never too showy. Often they write blogs wherein they point out the quirky aspects of church, sometimes using clever lists to do so. Once in a while, they're big fans of Elvis and have very messy offices littered with all manner of music and/or tech items or pieces thereof. They usually work with Senior ministers who either haven't heard of, or don't like, Dave Matthews.

There are more, to be sure, and I'll be posting another list soon. You should also share yours. And, if you're one of these people, let us know as well. Certainly, you've seen the same kinds of people in the churches you've been involved in. People say that God likes diversity, but I ask you, how much diversity does He really like if he puts the same kind of people in each church?

DISCLAIMER: God really does like diversity. Again, don't send me nasty letters because of my joke!

6 comments:

Bill said...

seriously...we don 't need any stinking longhairs!

Anonymous said...

i may have at one point been a number 4 and i may or may not be married to a number 8.

churches are definitely full of the same people, just with different names. i like to compare them or categorize them in my mind.

for example so-in-so is my kewanee so-in-so. that makes no sense, but some might see it as rude to use real names.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, I think I could name most of these people in 'the church i attend', does that make me a stereotyper? Can't wait for another list! I'm afraid to see what category I fit into :)

Bill said...

You haven't made a spot for me yet...the totally awesome and completely humble drummer boy from Borneo!

mandy said...

I'm wondering what category I fit into.. sort of like on stuff christians like blog- on the minister's wives post. I think Summar & I don't fit into any of the three categories he lists.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Dave Matthews.