I just got a flyer advertising a conference to be held at "One of America's Most Exciting Churches." I was disappointed. I thought we were in the running for it, but apparently we missed out by a hair. I am not sure I have the strength to go on now. The worst thing that they did not even notify me that we were not "One of America's Most Exciting Churches."
Seriously folks, who decided that this church was "One of America's Most Exciting Churches"? What kind of arrogance does it take to proclaim yourself "One of America's Most Exciting Churches"? I might be able to understand declaring yourself to be one of the most exciting churches on your block. I might even grasp the idea of declaring yourself to be one of the most exciting churches in your neighborhood? Declaring yourself to be one of the most exciting churches in your city is a big stretch. And going statewide is absurd. But national? Please. Tell me you did not take the time to study all the churches in America so you could declare yourself to be among the most exciting. And please tell me you did not just declare yourself that without actually knowing it to be true.
But more importantly, why does it matter? Is the church about excitement?
Hey, I have an idea. Maybe the answer to weak churchianity is coming up with tiers of excitement in churches. Then you could have first tier churches and second tier churches, and so on.
Perhaps we could even have a National Excitement Award for the top of the top tier churches. Perhaps a Adrenaline Rush Award for the church that managed to jump the most tiers in one years. Perhaps we should add in a Biggest Compromiser Award for the churches that fall the most tiers in one year. Hey, how about a T.O. Award, for the church that creates the most excitement while denying that you actually tried to kill yourself by taking sleeping pills. That way you can get national press for Jesus, and get Bill Parcells upset at answering "I don't know" to the same question fifty different times. The possibilities are endless. And we could have an Excitement Conference to pass the awards out. Maybe someone would even bring "the chair" to see who could fill it. Maybe a "pack the chair" contest to see how many bus kids you can get in "the chair." My mind is racing ... Remind me to drink decaffeinated coffee.
The irony is that the conference is the "National Old Paths Bible Conference." Do you really think the "old paths" were about excitement? Somehow, I have a hard time seeing the church in the New Testament in this light.
Perhaps rather than having tiers of churches, we should have tears for churches.