Posts Tagged ‘deacon & usher’

Why Do We Go To Church, Daddy?

January 3, 2010

Usher: Hey Deak,

My buddy Short Beak stopped by my branch the other day and asked me how to answer his kid’s question – “Why do we go to church, Daddy? I thought Jesus was fun and cool, but church really sucks! I can’t stay awake for longer than 5 minutes through those windy sermons and Sunday School is full of Geritol and brown-nosers.”

Deacon: So what did you tell him?

Usher:  I told him it was his problem.  After all, he’s fallen for it all his life, and now he’s at the point of no return.  No matter what he tells his kid, his kid will see him as a hypocrite because he still goes and doesn’t feel he can change as it’s too late in life and after all, the fellowship hour has really good desserts!

Deacon:  Usher, you’re so so lame!

Divide & Conquer

April 20, 2009

Usher:  Deak, I been told that the church is supposed to be separated from state and I don’t have a problem with that.  But how come all them humans run the church like a business?

Deacon: They are raised and taught in a “command and conquer” society where rigid guidelines and hierarchy are the norm.  (Unlike how the church was actually established around a decentralized model with not titles, no bosses and no hierarchy.)

Usher: So that’s why the pastor is the CEO, the assistant is the aggressive VP with the pedigree pursuing the career path and the sheep are mere afterthoughts?

Deacon: You go it!  They simply see church as a vocation and nothing more.  Once they find a place where they can attain control, they must build up their congregation so they can store away their retirements and 401Ks and all that crap.  The sheep are the ones who fund it all, but nothing more.

Usher: So where is God in all this?  Don’t they know that the “command and conquer” model is subject to strife, infighting and easily overthrown or divided?

Deacon:  That doesn’t really matter to them.  In fact, it plays right into their hand.  It’s because they are in it mostly for the money.  (If you took away their money, they’d leave.) When things get rough, they simply pacify the sheep with programs (crumbs) and they use the sheep money to fund it all.  Kind of interesting, eh?  In the days of the Apache, the government couldn’t tame the Apache because they were decentralized.  Killing them was actually making them multiply.  They had no chiefs and no hierarchy, they operated in circles of influence.  Destroy one circle, and two more would crop up. They were a nemesis even into the 20th century after most of the other tribes had been conquered.

Usher: How did the government finally conquer them?

Deacon: Funny you should ask.  They gave the spiritual leaders (who operated just like al qaeda cell group leaders), the Nant’ans – cattle.  With this brought prestige and a pecking order and voila!  In just a few years, the Apaches were tamed and living out their lives in reservations with cows and booze!

Usher: Kind of like dumb Christians going to church every Sunday and doing just what the pastor wants in exchange for babysitting, donuts and coffee?  And all at the expense of the sheep?

Deacon: Most people would say your depiction is a little harsh, but you get the picture….

Usher: Wow, don’t the sheep know that if they simply stop going, all of the corruption will stop? They don’t need these greedy blokes to pacify them and lull them into a false sense of security.  And if they sat and did the math and realized that all that “tithe” is just funding the 401K and paying for the home of some money-grubbing pastor, why won’t they walk away?

Deacon: The oldest and largest companies in the world are insurance companies.  They sell peace-of-mind and nothing more.  Sheep are dumb and they will pay anything for someone to tell them everything is “gonna be all right”.

Cut & Paste Sermons

July 21, 2008

Usher: Isn’t the Internet great for pastors Deak?

Deacon: How’s that Usher?

Usher: Time, Deak, Time!  With the Internet, they can prepare their sermon from thousands and thousands of sermons and ideas posted, cut-and-paste and then do what they really want to do.

Deacon: What do they really want to do Usher?

Usher: Play golf, sleep, go out to eat, shop, pursue the American Dream – did I miss anything?

Short Term Missions (the real truth)

July 19, 2008

Usher: Look down there in the parking lot – the kids are getting back from the mission trip

Deacon: I see, I see

Usher: What do they do those trips for?

Deacon: Lots of reasons Usher, but for the most part, to tell and show the world how great we Americans are at christianity

Usher: Expound

Deacon: Well, the majority simply come back feeling good about what “they” did.  Where in the story is the community they visited and what happens when they leave?  Does this community ever hear from anyone again?

Usher: And at about $1,000 per person to travel, wouldn’t the money go a lot further if they simply gave it to the orphanages and the communities and the hospitals?

Deacon: Yep, I know for fact that all the orphanages in say Guatemala work on very tight budgets (typically funded by Americans on fixed budgets) and they typically run out of money 1/2 to 3/4 of the year and have to go begging (because so many new kids show up during the year driving the budget into the red). 

Usher: Do the churches that send these kids have any clue? 

Deacon: Yep, but they keep doing it anyway.  No adventure in sending money and no romance either.  In addition, they think so much of themselves that their misconception is that the benefit is really from them going to “help the kids”.

Usher: I know what you mean. I took a bunch of kids to an orphanage once and they couldn’t interact or relate to the fact that the kids were fine and really didn’t need their help.  In essence, the kids we took learned more about their own shortcomings than they did about missions.

Deacon: So you’re saying that they got to see that Jesus doesn’t need them to fix the world?

Usher: Quite the contrary notion huh?  Seems that the only commodity the church in America seems to have is disposable income and kids who don’t understand their own neediness.

New Church Checklist (How people really judge churches)

July 17, 2008

Deacon: Usher, what do you think people really look for when they’re choosing a new church?

Usher: The real list or the lip-service list?

Deacon: The real one, of course.

Usher: From what I can gather, here’s the list:

1. Kid’s programs (Sunday School, VBS, youth groups, mission trips)

2. Worship quality and preference (contemporary or traditional / AV quality and crew)

3. Daycare

4. Facilities (gym, meeting space, location)

5. Parking

6. Distance from home – driving time?

7. Preaching quality (Is he funny, smart, punctual and non-condemning?)

8. Coffee and fellowship food quality

9. Are the people friendly?

10: Age of people – are they “our generation”?

God’s Perfect Church Planters – Church Hopping #4

July 15, 2008

Now Accepting Applications! (f/ Adam with the FC remix)

1. We’re not looking for church hopping Christians! If you can’t plug in at a church because you haven’t found the perfect church then let me save you some time. We’re not perfect so mark us off of your list. I’m serious!

2. We’re not looking for granola bar Christians! Granola is made up of fruits, nuts and flakes. We’re not interested. We’re trying to reach people that are far from God and to be quite honest we do not want to push them farther away. Weird in the name of God is still weird!

3. We’re not looking for disgruntled Christians! If you are mad at your current or previous pastor/church then please don’t expect us to take your side (or even listen to your side). We have more important things to do then to pacify whiny Christians. Make it right and move on!

4. We’re not looking for trendy Christians! We’re not trying to create a new church fad that attracts all kinds of Christians that are bored with their current churches. We value and respect all kinds of church models and philosophies. If you like getting on board with new church trends then you’ll find yourself in the wrong place!

5. We’re not looking for fix-it Christians! Please don’t come if you feel the need to fix pastors, ministries and churches. You won’t enjoy it here and we won’t enjoy having you. God’s vision for Forward Church is not broken so please take your toolbox somewhere else!

I agree with him!

Check back often as I continue to work out what Forward Church will look and feel like.

Until next time.

 _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Usher; Hey Deak, it’s the perfect church – they don’t need anyone who isn’t just like them!

Deacon: What is “just like them”

Usher: Don’t have a clue – let me see if I can figure it out -

- No church hoppers
- No fruits nuts or flakes – no cereal christians
- No one who is hurting
- No whiny christians
- No disgruntled christians
- No “faddy” christians
- No fix-it christians

Deacon: Do they even know christians?  I’ve never seen a church with anything but the above!

Usher: My point exactly!  In their eyes, they’re perfect.  They must have won God’s gold medals at the spiritual olympics!

Deacon: So what happens when they are out in the mission field and one of them fails in the eyes of a Muslim or a JW or a Mormon or a Hindu or a Buddhist?

Usher: Then I guess Christ loses because their christianity is nothing but perfect – and if everyone is not perfect, their gospel don’t work

Deacon & Usher’s reply to Cake or Death

July 12, 2008

Bad cartoon sermon

http://cakeordeathcartoon.wordpress.com/ 

______________________________________________________________________________

Usher: Deak, I think I’ve got a response for this one

Deacon: And……

Usher: You pastors are so lazy, you make us all wonder if you’ll ever come to church with a sermon you haven’t taken from somebody else……

Deacon: Touche…..Touche…..

Traditional Title of Pastor or Real Titles?

July 6, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, what if pastors were called by their real duties instead of some pastor of the church?  Who would your pastor be?

Deacon: I don’t know, shepherd?

Usher – Here are a few that come to mind:

Chief guilt officer, Chief alter caller, Chief wine and bread steward, Chief Membership Pusher, Chief Building Fund Persuader, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Delegator, Chief Manipulator, Chief divorce counselor, Chief curriculum chooser, Chief Finanacial Officer, Chief Idealist (keep the member) officer

Deacon: You better watch it Usher, you’re steppin’ on toes

Buzzard Faith

July 4, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, do buzzards have more faith then humans?

Deacon: What do  you think?

Usher: Seems like we do - No homes, no schools, no social services, no insurance plans, no healthcare, no nest eggs, not even a nest!

Deacon: So what exactly do we have?

Usher: 250 Million cars servin’ up fresh roadkill!  Let’s Eat!

Church Hopper (Part 3)

June 26, 2008

Deacon: Usher, how does the church survive with church hoppers?

Usher: Who says it needs to survive in the form it’s in today Deak?

Deacon: Well it has been proven for about 2000 years.

Usher: That’s up for debate, Deak.

Usher: Let’s all be real.  What is the motivation for a church to grow its membership?  Money!  It’s not furthering the kingdom.  If it were, the church wouldn’t be telling its people to give, give, give and then only offer up an occasional prayer in exchange for all their investment.

Deacon: But the church is for those who are saved, so they can grow and the church is their to disciple them.

Usher: Deak, you’re more than idealistic on that statement.  You call discipleship weak Sunday School (teachers who volunteer and are rarely taught, trained, held accountable, etc.), cushy little youth groups with watered-down curriculum or some “made-up-curriculum” from the youth pastor who’s never done a single thing in his life except go to college, get a degree (with the greatest real life application being a few week-long mission trips to a safe haven)? 

Just what if that new person visiting is a seasoned disciple, has moved into the area with a job change and is a level 8 disciple and is far more advanced in his/her knowledge of the kingdom?  He sits through a couple sermons and realizes the pastor preaches on a level of about a 2.  He leaves.  Is he a “church hopper”

Deacon: But that’s not a normal situation Usher.

Usher: Life ain’t normal, Deak.  Everyone who walks in the church is unique.  Why does the church fall into the trap of offering programs that only cater to one group of people, then preach as though everyone in the group should buy into the shallowness of it all?  People are all at different stages in their lives.  One size fits all doesn’t cut it!  Church is not about the Sunday morning service, it’s about the body life.  Yet all the money the church collects and all the effort put into raising the membership is about the show or what I call the Sunday morning demonstration: “here are our great programs, don’t miss all the announcements about our great programs” and isn’t our worship team great?  And I (the pastor) worked so hard this week to prepare this one-size-fits-all sermon “just for you”.

Church Hopping (Part 2)

June 19, 2008

Deacon: What’s the church’s role in “church hopper”?

Usher: First of all Deak, church hopping to shop for the best programs and all is just plain wrong.  To shop a church for all the goodies makes my craw rumble.

Second, lots of churches don’t ever look at themselves in the mirror.  They put the label of “church-hopper” on anyone who doesn’t find their church to be the right place.  Shame on them.

For these types of people who are truly looking for a real church, I have a lot of mercy.  They are often the ones that no one seems to notice when they drop in.  They’re not pretty, they don’t have pretty little kids and maybe they just don’t fit into the mainstream of the church. 

Churches battle this by “training” their A-personality types to seek out the new people (usually with help from the greeters or making these types the greeters) and then they’re all over them like a Radio Shack salesman.  Doing what, why pushing their programs of course!  Ugh!  Let me get this straight – churches want authentic people, yet they push their programs all over them to get them to stay and then they condemn them because they find the church not to their liking?

Church Hopper (part 1)

June 17, 2008

Usher:  Deak, define “church hopper”

Deacon: It’s people who shop from church to church.  Some do it in hopes of finding a perfect church, while others end up there because they just don’t agree with the last church or cannot get along.

Usher: If they don’t get along, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily wrong does it?  Doesn’t it mean they might have issues or the preferences of the church don’t work for them?

Deacon: They usually are just troubled or difficult people.  You know the type, their problems follow them around wherever they go.

Usher: That’s a little harsh Deak.  I hear leaders complaining all the time about “difficult people”.  Isn’t that what the church is supposed to do – address the needs of people even if it’s uncomfortable? You know, invest in them at any cost?

Deacon: Years ago that might have been the case, but things have changed.  The church can’t do those things anymore, they might get sued or lose their membership roles.

Usher: Oh, I get it.  Leave them alone and they’ll go away and you won’t have to deal with them anymore.  Maybe some other “church” will take them in.  What if they refuse to leave? What do you do then?

Deacon: Most of the time, we simply refer them to professional help or refer them to a help program like AA or Divorce Care depending on their issues.

Usher: Sounds like you got it all figured out Deak.  Wrap it up in a neat little program solution and get on with it, eh?  So I guess there isn’t any church for buzzards cause they’re nothing but trouble?

Church or Sunday Masquerade?

June 12, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, you go to the masquerade yesterday?

Deacon: Usher, if you’re referring to church, why yes I did. I didn’t see you, but tell me why you’re being so irreverent?

Usher: What’s reverent about the art of deception, Deak?  Where do I start? 

“Did everyone go to the picnic last Saturday?  We had a great time of fellowship!” – pastor 

Now what the pastor really means is, we like to do stuff like this because it keeps the memberships up, satisfies the goody-goodies and it keeps our mind off the tough stuff like the15 foreclusures in the church which we couldn’t do a thing about (not to mention we got to make up the tithe, where I don’t know).  It helps me forget about the high number of parishoners who have alcohol addiction and the three teens that were arrested for drug distribution. 

“Please come by and welcome our new youth pastor, Billy with a special dinner in the fellowship hall” – pastor

I hope I got the best kid for the job.  These parents are brutal, they want everything for nothing in this place.  Maybe he will strike a better chord because quite frankly, I cannot relate to such rich lazy kids who’ve never missed a meal, carried out a chore or actually done anything but take money from their parents and shop colleges setting up their pedigreed life. 

Deacon: So what do you want the pastor to do instead?

Usher: How about talkin’ about the real stuff – then all the goody goodies will go home and never come back and the real christians (if there are any) will be the only ones left.  They say the 80/20 rule applies to churches, why not get rid of the 80 and work with the 20?  Think how far you can go only working with true disciples.

Deacon: What kind of roadkill did you eat last night?

Pastor & Psychologist

June 10, 2008

Usher: Deak, what’s the difference between  pastors and psycologists?

Deacon: I don’t know Usher, tell me

Usher: Psychologists take your money and let you do all the talking, while pastors take your money and tell you to be quiet and listen while they do all the talking!

Usher: What do pastors and psychologist have in common?

Deacon: I don’t know but I’m sure you’re going to tell me…..

Usher: They both take your money and give you absolutely nothing in return

We’re just “administers”

June 10, 2008

Usher: Deacon, If I hear the pastor refer to that scapegoat comment “you’re the ministers, I’m just the administer” one more time, I’m going to fly into the church and do a Mike Tyson on the pastor!

Deacon: Usher, calm down.  What’s wrong with that, he just wants you to know that you’re a minister.

Usher; I give tithe, offerings, volunteer and after all that, he wants us to do more?  What the heck is he here for?  He gets paid and takes the weekend off playing golf while we raise funds for programs he brags about in church on Sunday morning.  Deak, I got a real problem with that.

Deacon: Calm your jets boy, you’re gonna have a coronary

Celebration or Buzzard Beater

May 29, 2008

Deacon: Hey Usher, I didn’t see you at church yesterday?

Usher: I don’t do first Sundays Deak

Deacon: Why not?

Usher: It’s communion Sunday

Deacon: You got something against communion?

Usher: Not really – it’s the guilty meditating quiet time while you’re waiting – It’s deflating if you know what I mean

Deacon: Communion isn’t about guilt, it’s about celebration

Usher: It’s a buzzard beater for me


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