Not Everybody Likes the Living Stones Church and I’m OK

Posted: March 10, 2009 in Living Stones Church, vision

One of the greatest tyrannies a leader of a church can suffer under is the tyranny of trying to keep everyone at their church.  It is a powerful obsession that plagues many leaders.  This obsession manifests by church leaders running around hoping everyone who is in, won’t leave, and everyone who shows up as a guest will come back and…like us.

One of the most freeing things for a pastor is to be released from this tyranny and come to the place where they realize (and even celebrate) – not everyone is going to like the church and not everyone is going to stay forever – and that is OK.

Not everyone is going to stay at the Living Stones Church forever (although I’m going to try 🙂 ), nor is everyone who darkens our doors going to love it and return.  That isn’t my job.  My job is to follow God’s call in mission and vision for Living Stones Church.  His job is to figure out who should stay and who to send to us.  Over the years I have grown quite comfortable with this reality.  And in fact, have learned to trust God in it and be grateful.  Ironically, the more I concentrated on the mission and vision – the more people stayed and the the more people He sent to us (go figure!).

Over time I have come to have a pretty good sense of who will stay and who won’t.  So, in a series of posts, I would like to share some of the indicators of those who probably won’t stay:

1.  Those Who Are Not Young at Heart

I’m not saying you have to be young.  You just have to be young in heart.  We have people here from all ages.  But our 80 year old members have the energy, attitude, spunkyness, or proclivity towards the young.  They might be 80…but their spirit is like a 30 year old!  I’ve also met 27 year olds who had a spirit about them that made them much older.  They don’t make it here.  If you are looking to kick back in some sort of retirement mode and complain about the world or think you are entitled to moan and criticize because your heart is old and cynical…it usually doesn’t work out here.

2.  Overly-Charismatic

We’re down with the Charismatic.  But I’ve discovered the overly-charismatic don’t make it here.  If you can’t have a normal down-to-earth conversation without feeling it necessary to say the words “glory,” “Hallelujah,” or “Praise Jesus” my experience is that you won’t last long.  If you come in telling us the Lord gave you a word as to where to park in our parking lot, or where you fit in “five-fold ministry,” or introduce yourself by name and inform me that you are a tongue-speaker…it usually just doesn’t work out here.

3.  Offended by Fart Jokes

I know this seems weird, but if you are offended by a good fart joke, you aren’t going to last at Living Stones Church.  I’m not saying you have to like fart jokes or even prefer that kind of humor.  Nor will you really hear fart jokes on Sunday morning (although there might be some in the office during the week).  I’m just saying if you are the kind of person that is offended by a fart joke…or think those who enjoy them are not spiritual…there is probably a Presbyterian Church somewhere that will be better suited for you.

More to come…

  1. Scott Finnegan says:

    This post alone makes me wish I lived in Indiana. I have no current outlet for fart jokes.

  2. alex says:

    You dont even need to put the fart subject in a form of joke. Let’s just say, I know some people where if you just say, “doody”they giggle like a little kid. But the bigger picture is you don’t want a bunch of uptight people at the church. If they are not going to laugh, even at the most innocent joke, but just because the joke was said in church, immediatly we shouldn’t be laughing. Because God don’t find things funny. Of course he does, look at the Platypus. Those type of people are going to have a hard time spreading the joyfullness aspect of Jesus. They will make people think that Jesus was never happy and only spoke of hell-fire and damnation.

  3. Lorinda says:

    I think fart jokes are funny. The thing is we have to be able to laugh at ourselves. Life gets to complicated if we don’t. Believe it or not-we all fart.

  4. Jim Ruth says:

    I can’t comment. Sometimes they’re just too easy, and sometimes they look better as they run on the screen in your brain than they do on paper. But trust me, they’d be good.

  5. scmiller says:

    Funny thing – as big as GCC is – I know a high percentage of the senior adults. That’s because like Living Stones – they are active and engaged in the life of the church. I think it demonstrates that churches that are missional and cast clear vision attract people that believe the body of Christ should be active. I had an older gentleman confide in me that the music in our worship wasn’t his preference, but “boy the young families are really inspired by it”. He gets it. He knows it is not about him.

    Many years ago – we had a group of friends together playing the dictionary game. That’s where one person finds a word in the dictionary that no one has ever heard of. Everyone in the group then makes up a definition of the word, one person reads them all aloud and everyone tries to guess the true one. Our youth minister at the time defined “zum zither” as the sound made by the choir collectively pulling their zippers up and down.

    I’ll bet you would be a riot to play the game with.

  6. Doug says:

    “In a series of posts?” Seriously. There can not be that many reasons people who don’t like Living Stones Church. Seriously? I mean who don’t like Living Stones?

  7. Melissa says:

    My mom. She doesn’t like fart jokes. I don’t really find them funny myself, but I’m not offended. In my defense, I was raised by a woman (see above) who didn’t think it was ladylike to even say the word “fart,” much less actually do it or laugh about it!

  8. Dana says:

    You wrote ‘fart’ five times. ha ha.

  9. alex says:

    And thus confirming my previous statement.

  10. […] Church and I’m OK part 3 Final post on this topic…I promise!  I mentioned here and here a list of characteristics of good and Godly people who just typically don’t stay or […]

  11. jennieupsidedown says:

    Fart Jokes good.
    Farting near me, bad.

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