Yes, this is brought to you by April Fool’s Day. While some of these may sound far-fetched, the not-so-funny reality is that these are actual quotes overheard and reported to me by District Staffers. Please note that the congregations where these quotes took place are not growing (in most definitions of the word.) If you suspect some of these citations may have been overheard in your congregation, please contact your District Staff for an intervention. They’re here for you.
- “We’ve always done <insert most anything> this way.” Or “We tried that once.”
- “You can believe anything you want! And we’ll never ask you what you believe.”
- “We are intentionally lay led. We don’t want a minister in here telling us what to do.”
- “Oh, yes, we do outreach. We just gave (a lot) of money to National Public Radio.”
- “Spirituality, whatever that is, has no place in our congregation.” and “The word “religious” makes me very uncomfortable. We are not a religion. I wish people would stop saying that.”
- “I never wear my name tag. I don’t need to. Everyone knows who I am.”
- “Our board has young adults. Joe doesn’t have gray hair. … Joe, how old are you? 43? That’s close enough.”
- “We don’t really have a Sunday School. If you want something you’ll have to do it yourself. … Oh, and children aren’t that welcome in the worship service.”
- “Is this microphone on?” (Not one Sunday or two Sundays, but every Sunday.)
- 25 minute lecture on waste disposal and called it a sermon.
- To visitors: “Where have you been?” “Which religion did you give up on?” “Now that you’re in the building, what will it take to keep you here?” or even better, fill them in on all the problems and challenges the congregation is facing.
Horrors actually seen:
- Worship Associate wearing a t-shirt, crinkle skirt, sneakers, and no bra. I can’t make this up.
- Announcement during worship to help pay for the coffee. Sign on coffee table reminding people to pay for the coffee. The offering consists of really bad (or instant) coffee, one tea selection, powdered non-dairy creamer, and a few crackers.
- Announcements, newsletters, websites, sermons drowning in acronyms. Please stop the madness.
- A building with a Hard of Hearing Room for older folks so they won’t bother people around them in the sanctuary. This was also used for people who didn’t like children in the service. A room of their own. I think the intention was meant to be helpful… but really?
- Catering to the strongest/loudest personality in the group.
- Strategic plan based on the desire to have more members to do more of the work and pay more of the budget.
- Websites that give no time of worship, address, or way to contact someone with questions. Websites that are months out of date.
I know we’ve missed some. What would you add? Please share in the comments section!