The Adventures of Karen: Church Woes
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, we overslept and missed church. Our church has changed a lot since the new pastor arrived 2 years ago. I struggle to make myself attend. We joined the church under the previous pastor and knew about the church because Amy had attended k-2 grades at the church's elementary school. After the previous pastor took a different call, the church service began to use much less of the litergy. The new pastor has introduced a lot of mega-church ideas to grow the congregation. (Last week a large retractable screen was installed above the cross.) Instead of the church growing, many families have left our congregation and now drive 30-60 minutes to attend more traditional churches with more substance. I'm really uncomfortable with the changes that have been made. The biggest change to me has been the loss of law and gospel in the sermons. The sermons contains some gospel, many humorous references to secular life and little substance.
The WELS churches in our area have always been more conservative and scripture based then the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod churches. Unfortunately, the WELS churches are now being pressured to use other more liberal churches' approaches to outreach. I don't believe that advertising pony rides for VBS to draw in non-members is the way to "grow a church." God's Word being taught in it's truth and purity is more important than projection screens. That being said, Lutherans tend to be quiet people. Our German heritage makes us uncomfortable greeting strangers. We need to work at being more open and friendly to visitors. Visitors should be made welcome by people other than the minister. But, making our church look like a happy-clappy church is wrong.
The house that we are moving to does not have any WELS churches within a 20 mile radius. There is a Missouri Synod church 1/2 a mile down the road. A friend mentioned that the church is very confessional and that the service is litergical. We'll probably visit them. It's getting harder and harder to find a church that doesn't make me cringe.
Posted by Karen at 9:19 AM
Labels: churches, family life, moving
Been there, done that. I truly am sorry about your struggles. Unfortunately it does not seem that if you bring up your objections that anyone will listen. We had to leave.
November 24, 2009 12:06 PM
Paul Thompson said...
Hi Karen. I live in Iowa and there are a few confessional LCMS Churches within 30 minutes of us, so we are blessed. My wife and I homeschool our oldest boy (8) and will be homeschooling our two other children very soon. Don't compromise your convictions and stay strong. Please pray for the LCMS. I love our church and would be heartbroken to find it moving away from it's Liturgical and Confessional stance. God's blessing to you and yours.
November 25, 2009 9:51 AM
Once again, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.
Our little church GREW about 8 years ago. I do love it but it's bigness sometimes overwhelms me.
I am conflicted about exactly what you state in your post...I see how great it is (number of souls brought in wise) but am not sure about crossing the line of enabling our current "culture" and keeping our quiet traditions.
I attend a small group Bible study with the wife of one of our called workers and hearing their "side of the story" helps bring balance to my thoughts...
I wish we could chat over coffee, it sounds like we have a lot of the same concerns...and they're so hard to put into words.
I'll be praying that you find a church home that is comfortable AND you are able to grow in,
November 26, 2009 8:06 AM