Posts Tagged ‘hymns’

“Real” Reasons We Pay the Pastor…

October 6, 2008

Usher: Deak, I’m not much for payin’ pastors, but lots of today’s nuclear families are. 

Deacon: Most people think a pastor is worth his wage.  What’s your point?

Usher: Well, here are some of the real reasons we pay the pastor….

  • To buy the matzas for communion – because we don’t know which brand to buy
  • To put up with Margaret the secretary who’s there because the last pastor wrote her into the bylaws
  • Visiting “Vinny” in the hospital – we don’t know Vinny and going to the hospital smells!
  • To run the business meetings – what a waste of time – I’ll never go to one of those again!
  • To deal with Mikey the youth pastor who botched his college career and has no other way to make $$
  • To be the arbitrator between the “hymn lovers” and the “boomers” who prefer contemporary worship
  • To manage those A-personality girls who run the VBS every year – oh they are so annoying
  • To counsel Fred the “want-to-be elder” who cannot seem to ever pass up a request for prayer or a recommitment of his faith
  • To field the complaints of the blue-hairs on “what’s for Wednesday night dinner”
  • To attend the Wednesday night dinners
  • To hire all the “yes” men for the deacon board
  • To attend the leadership meetings and settle all the trivial arguments amongst the “yes” men
  • To have dinner with all the visiting missionaries – especially the translators – who can relate?
  • To counsel all the troubled wives – note we said wives – cause their husbands never come
  • To approve the worship list and settle the disputes between worship leaders
  • To read the announcements for the same 12 people who care about the announcements
  • Last but not least – to prepare the sermons I can never recall and to pray for the same 10 people who request it every week

Deacon: Your view is slightly cynical, Usher.

Usher: If you’re readin’ this, let us know what your pastor gets paid for?????

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Modern Day Suburban Hymn

August 12, 2008

Usher: Hey Deak, I stumbled upon this brilliant site that critiques not-so-Godly hymns – I knew there was something that bothered me about some of those old things, and all the time, I jus thought it was the dated music….

http://deconstructedchristian.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/showers-of-blessing/

Deacon: Irreverence doesn’t really bother you, does it Usher?

Usher: Not really, so I wrote one of my own hymns that fits a church I know…

Oh God rain down more points for my visa
So I can compete with my neighbor Lisa
Just think how great my witness will be
When the heathen are impressed by your gifts for me

Our witness to be seen at the grandest of shows
When we’re adorned with sequens, crosses and bows
The mayor, the judge and the priests will all see
How Christlike we are in our prosperity

We’ll dine with the stars because they surely need you
We’ll say grace with the famous and toast at the ‘fest
We can witness to the finest of celebrity fame
Oh God give us more and more and more in your name

Deacon & Usher T-Shirts 5

August 5, 2008

Deacon: Usher, where you been?  People have been dropping by to see more Tees and you disappeared!

Usher: Sorry Deak, was getting Tee-block and needed some new material – Sunday morning did it!

Deacon: Did what?

Usher: Brought back my creative juices……..

Which theatre do you prefer?

Which theatre do you prefer?

Death by Association (abridged version)

July 15, 2008

In response to an anonymous blogger who was trying to figure out the mechanics of “blended’ worship

(sorry for such a long post – don’t fall asleep readin’ it)

Usher: What in the world do we tell her?

Deacon: You’re openin’ up Pandora’s box Usher

Usher: She asked

Deacon: Up to you

Usher: WEll Betty, what you’re trying to do cannot be done.  Even though you think buzzards can’t sing, we did worship for 30 years.  Once we found out what we are writing below, we gave it up and resorted to worship amongst ourselves in meetings without liturgies and order, titles and assumed leaders, programs, building funds and goofy directions dreamed up by people who have never lived in the trenches).  It goes kind of like this……

Worship in today’s church is about performance.  Don’t be offended if you believe you are a true worship musician.  You probably are.  Regardless of your heart or intent, it’s not about that, it’s about the platform.

A little history for you…Music in the church (not the worship spoken of in the Word) originated out of pagan and Roman culture in the 3rd century.  Choirs were trained and put in place to perform for the Eucharist.  Preceding Constantinople’s times, Christians were not recognized, but Constantinople actually made Christianity an honorable thing (prior to his time, Christians were persecuted).

Music in the church also fits into the traditional liturgy established partly by Paganism and partly by the Catholic Church in the 6th century (look up Will Durant) by the monk Gregory the Great.  If you study this you will find there is almost no difference between the “liturgy” or order of worship in any denomination of church as we have come to know it (Catholic or Protestant).

So now to the answer of your question:  People want what they prefer and no matter how hard you try, blending a worship will lukewarmly satisfy both sides of the fence.  Why do people prefer hymns over contemporary?  Because they associate their times of being touched by God with music.  This is human and has nothing to do with the spirit. Yet, it’s all we can do.  We resort to the grand times of the past as part of our human nature (So you want to go back to Egypt?)

Me and Deak call it “death by association”.  Typically each generation prefers the music of their youth.  Because music has such a short shelf life, you have two or three camps in any church with a large congregation.  After you endure the same people from each camp critiquing your worship every Sunday for about 10 years, you’ll come to know that it’s no use.  You cannot please man and no matter how hard you try, it will never work.  If you resort to pleasing one or the other, the ones you please will stay and the others will be disgruntled at best or simply leave and go where their preferences reside.

Hopefully you’ve made it this far and are over the fact that you’ve probably engaged in something dear to your heart, yet realize that if what we say is true, it could be all for nought.  It’s not all for nought!  If you are a true worshipper, then worship Christ outside the “church that man has built”.  Worship him in freedom outside any order man establishes or pushes on you.  Be encouraged in finding those who just want to worship, to sing a new song and not to perform.  Your personal relationship with Him is all that matters.  The confines you have experienced in this “church that man built” are extreme, debilitating and stifling.  The church of the 1st century didn’t know any of these.  Today’s generation is finding this out.

God Bless,

Deacon & Usher

Excerpts taken from Pagan Christianity?  Frank Viola George Barna (Chapters 3 and 7)Copyright 2002, 2008