Monday, May 25, 2009

I pray in my boat that is enough church for me....

"Hello pastor!" A younger man greeted me the other day after a funeral. This man was a member of our church, but due to a lack of attendance over three years, has been removed from our roles and also has moved to another area. I replied, "Great to see you again. How is your new area? Found a fellowship of believers yet?" He said, "No, we are still Lutheran, but we don't need the church. I pray when I go out fishing and that is all I need. I went to teach my son as a child about church, but we don't need it anymore."
My response? Shock. If someone's heart is that hardened, what do you say? If they have NO desire to receive God's gifts in worship, what do you do? God has gifts to give that go well beyond the gift of prayer. Try the Word, try the Sacrament, try a supportive fellowshp of believers, and try maybe being a supportive person to those in the faith! Any ideas of a good one line response to such talk? I am very frustrated by that mentality!

1 comment:

Thom said...

Hey there Pastor Finnern!
I have heard of two ways to respond to this sort of situation. The first (I believe stolen from "The Hammer of God") is to compare church to a fire as in a fireplace, and each believer is an ember of the fire. Together, the embers all burn hot. But take one out and it begins to cool. Such is our church life.

Another one (stolen from an old pastor of mine) is to say something along the lines that we are not too concerned about his faith, nor even his children's faith because we trust that he will be able to teach his children the faith. But our concern is about his GRANDchildren. If his children do not grow up in church, how will they be able to teach the faith to their children?

Of course, there is also always the Scripture which says to not neglect gathering together.