There was once a pastor who decided he was going to do something different for a change, so instead of a sermon, he gave everyone two sheets of paper.
On one sheet, the heading read, “THE PROBLEM IN THIS CHURCH IS …” and on the other sheet, the heading read, “WHAT THIS CHURCH NEEDS IS …”
He had them fill them out and hand them in. The next Sunday, he gave the results. On the sheet that listed the PROBLEMS, such things were listed as:
• Should not serve coffee in church
• Should serve more coffee in church
• Should have shorter sermons
• Should have longer sermons
• The music we have is terrible
• It’s terrible we don’t have more music like what we have
On the sheet with the heading of WHAT IS NEEDED, things were listed like:
• Need to spend money on more chairs
• We don’t need to spend any more money
• Pitch all the songs and start over
• We need a new preacher
We can see the humor in that illustration, but there is something else we can see, too. We can see the unhappiness of those in the church. We can see the lack of unity as a body of Christians, and there is one more thing … we can see a church that has dropped the ball in its teachings, because nobody mentioned Jesus Christ.
I would say the biggest problem that church had was that everybody was focused on what they wanted, and nobody was focused on what Jesus wanted. Too often, we are mainly concerned with what we want, and sometimes that is not healthy for the church.
I am reminded of the little church that needed a pastor, but they were small and couldn’t afford to pay very much. The only one they could afford was a 74-year-old pastor. He and his wife moved into the very small and very old one bedroom, one bathroom parsonage next door and he began to ready himself for his first sermon.
Come Sunday, he got up and spoke for exactly 30 minutes. Later that afternoon, the elders came by the parsonage and praised him with many praises, then asked him how everything was going. He told them the bathroom was too small and when he and his wife were getting ready for church, it was very difficult. The elders just kind of let that go over their heads and they bid goodbye for the day.
The next Sunday came and the pastor got up and again spoke a very good sermon for exactly 30 minutes. Later that day, the elders again came by the parsonage and told him how glad they were they hired him. Then they asked how it was going. The pastor again told them about the very small bathroom, to which they again let it go over there heads.
The third Sunday, the pastor got up and preached for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Later, the elders came by and asked him why he talked so long. He apologized and told them that the bathroom was so small that he accidentally put in his wife’s false teeth that morning and he said, “…and you know Momma, when they get started they just don’t stop.”
That afternoon, the crew came by to start building their new bathroom. That new pastor was focused only on what he wanted, and sometimes we have to do that, but never at the expense of not caring how we treat others in the church.
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