Comments

A Thick-Skinned Grin: My Reply to Your Response

Blog comments are a lot like yard sales, everyone puts in their two pennies.

(no?)

Blog comments are like yoga classes. It’s easier when no one knows your name.

(how about…?)

Blog comments are like crack. Writers lick lips, cry, and/or squeal at the sight.

(I tried. I’d like to see you come up with a blog comment joke!)

Getting Freshly Pressed was a big deal, but that sense of accomplishment didn’t even come close to the affirmation I received from the commentators of my last post, Professional Christians (and Other Oxymorons).

In that post, I spoke of my (and many others) discomfort over the some of the Church’s spending habits. I also shared my distaste for full-time, salaried positions—taking a stance but also looking for feedback and alternate perspectives.

The post came out fine. Sometimes I can clearly articulate the feuding religious thoughts in my head, other times not so much. Truth be told, it was the response of my reader community that made the experience so rewarding; I was absolutely floored by the vibrancy and the willingness people had to speak on such a tough topic.

Hey everyone, thanks for sharing, relating, and arguing. It means a lot.

Most readers were nice and understood the idea of a friendly, academic argument. There’s always that one unnecessary, negative comment that sticks; with each post, I think, I’m growing a thicker skin.

Here’s some highlights: 

-Regarding comfortable, salaried positions, people on both sides of the argument used the Bible—and Paul—to authenticate their position.

-I heard from an Atheist, a Mormon, a Vicar, a pastor’s kid, retired/former ministers, to name a few.

-I was praised, insulted, exhorted, and challenged.

-Anna from http://cannopener.wordpress.com/ gave an interesting comment about the connection between the apostle’s reaction to the pouring perfume on Jesus’ feet and my reaction to the church’s spending problem. I’m glad she brought it up; I think I might write a post about this in the near future.

A few stand-out quotes:

“I have to say that spending time on a Sunday with a cup of coffee, my kids safe in a bright, clean nursery, in a comfy chair really is something I crave, it has filled my tanks and made me excited to go to a church.” From http://thesisterslice.com/

“Go out and build yourself a great church. Then when people start complaining at you, you’ll have some context for what you wrote here.” Brian from http://www.fromnoahtohercules.com/

“Your post is part of the reason that I am Atheist. “Give us money so we can pray for the poor!”. Umm, what? Never makes sense…” Chuck from http://crowrath.wordpress.com/

“I’m tired of the “presentation.” Tired of the “show.”…  I simply want a church that provides a place for community and truly helps believers.” http://cognicide.wordpress.com/

“I come from a family of “professional” ministers. I’ve seen first hand just how taxing a job the pastorate can be, mentally, emotionally, even physically. I can tell you, it’s worth a salary…” Ian from http://churchified.wordpress.com/

“The full-time salaried, sit at Starbucks, read books and be on social media promoting yourself,/your service/your church./your good deeds pastor is nowhere to be found in Scripture.” BL from http://brianlen.wordpress.com/

“I was already fully committed to following God and trying to make a difference in the world in my previous job, but now I’m able to give all of my time and energy to facilitating that happening at the church I lead… ” Andy from http://baldvicar.wordpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernadettes-Art-Photography/196062867074019

Today’s featured image is a drawing by my friend, Bernadette. Click the link to see her other great work! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bernadettes-Art-Photography/196062867074019

The conversation is still going on. What are your thoughts?

Freshly Pressed: My Favorite Comments

Last week, I found myself struggling with writer’s block. Yesterday, I was Freshly Pressed on WordPress. That kind of took care of it. If you’re not familiar with WordPress, basically, Freshly Pressed is their sort of… front page.

Alternate blog title: Freshly Pressed: How Keva Got His Groove Back

Just last week, I was telling my wife about some of my goals. Freshly Pressed was numero uno. So that’s cool. Now, I can move on to goal numero dos: hand model. Well no…

What a huge honor. The Freshly Pressed came at just the right time, too. My writer’s block has since been smashed, chopped, and blended… and digested.

Confessions of a Former Worship Leader was featured. I wrote the post straight from the heart, so it was nice to get such a wide array of feedback and responses. “Confessions…” seems to have struck a chord, no pun intended.

The internet is a strange place, and it gets a lot of flack these days (Facebook rants, mean-spirited debates and criticisms, message boards), but I’m continually impressed by the genuineness and civility of WordPress bloggers. It’s quite a special place.

Comments are still coming in (slightly overwhelming)! In truth, everyone’s comment has touched my heart. Some responses have been encouraging, some have disagreed; all have contributed towards my healing in some way. The best part is the overall, much-needed conversation of corporate worship has begun. It’s been an honor to have lead this discussion.

Here’s a few comments (from yesterday) that have, so far, stood out to me. A lot of these are just excerpts. I might add one or two more as I continue to read.

Comments, Comments, Comments,

Melissaraptor

During the few Christian services I’ve attended in my life, I’ve felt so confused and taken aback by the focus on modern music. The services were not what I imagined at all and frankly I felt more uncomfortable in those which relied heavily on the performance. Thank you for sharing the thoughts of someone behind the scenes, so to speak. It’s comforting to know that someone so involved with religion shares or at least reflects some similar input on a few of the topics I’ve been so confused by. Thank you so much.

Constance V. Walden

When people get up on a stage or stand up before the congregation and sing, with or without music, it it becomes a concert or entertainment. It becomes about them, really. Yes, they may be singing about the Lord, but, it’s really about them. When the church comes together to worship, they should sing together as one to the Lord on the same level. No one up front, no one on stage, and not drowned out by musical instruments. It’s OUR voices together in praise to the Lord. Thanks for sharing.

measureofagift

My heart broke last week when a dear friend told me she chose a church for the “worship experience” she told me it was “very spiritual” and that what she loved was that she could go there, feel blessed, talk to no one, and then return home, untethered to anyone in the congregation, or anything she needed to carry around with her all week. She could “just leave it there til next week.” We’ve turned worship into a gratifying experience, so much so that in “trying to serve God” in worship, we end up hurting those who come to our churches.

sandydog44

Hello, I quit the church for many reasons ….and the hypnotizing of the congregation by emotional music and all that goes into producing a good concert to move your feelings….it was called being moved by the Holy Spirit, but exactly the same feelings are produced at a “secular” concert. People are fooling themselves.

Carpenter’s Quill

Worship is: Dance, art, a prayer, thanking God by using our talents, helping people around us, or even singing in the shower. I agree that ‘worship’ isn’t just one singular act of service/praise. I also like your response about being ‘hurt by the church’. Too many people forget that the church is full of humans. We are individuals incapable of perfection. I’m glad it didn’t squash your faith, and that you’re uncovering hidden feelings. I think the mega church culture (as a whole) needs to get back to authentic ‘worship’

Kris

I appreciate your honesty with where you are at and think it was wise for you to pull back as you did. It seems to me, our spiritual life and our interactions with others and service ebbs and flows, inevitably produces flaws, retracts in disgust and renews itself in purity through the Spirit. It is not just this way in worship of course, but in any aspect we participate in communally. Anytime our faith goes public in service we drag along our personal spiritual fights and encounter those of others and sometimes we just need to pull back and regroup.

kevindeisher

I sang and led worship at my church for several years and like you suffered burn out. I left the church in search of something better and more genuine for me to believe in. I can so relate to your post and agree with it all. I am attending a micro church now where the worship music is by most standards poor, but it is genuine and heartfelt and I enjoy it more than the concerts of the past.

Thanks again, WordPress! What an honor to have been considered and chosen.