Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

by Reverend Dan on November 16, 2022
I had lunch recently with some of my own kind. Preachers. Talk about noisy; preachers sure do talk a lot. Eat a lot too. People were staring at us and rushing to make it to the buffet before us like we were vultures hovering and waiting to tear the last of the carcass apart. It was embarrassing.

Anyway, at one point the conversation came around to one of this group’s favorite topics: church committees. After all, a church can never have enough committees . . . SAID NO PREACHER EVER! Root canals, IRS audits, church committee meetings; all extracted from the same genetic code.

We took an informal vote, and it was unanimous. The hardest committee to fill is stewardship. Asking for money. And the easiest? The one with the most members? The “You Should Have Done It This Way” Committee. Never have to recruit for that one. In fact, most of the members of that committee never miss a meeting or a good opportunity to say, “I told you so.” And there’s no waiting period to be on the committee, no vote needed to be made a member, and no term limits. They’re all self-appointed for life.

Every church has this committee. You may not know it. It’s probably not on the Holy Grail Church Constitution that is kept under glass and worshipped and revered. It never has a “called” meeting. (It does tend to bring Verizon to its knees, however, when its members meet daily on the phone with each other to gossip about other members of the church.) And without any announcement in the bulletin, they just seem to appear every time someone else tries to do something new.

One pastor in the group told us about an event the Evangelism Committee at his church sponsored. It was an outreach to the community. It wasn’t to increase church membership. It wasn’t to make money. It was simply to share Christ. You know, that whole “love your neighbor” and “make disciples” thing Jesus talked about. Sure enough, when the YSHDITW Committee heard about it, the inquisition started. “What’s it for? Why are you doing it? What’s it going to cost us? Will we make anything?” The answers the Evangelism Committee had were good. “To share Christ. To share Christ. A little time to share Christ. Hopefully when we share Christ it will bring new converts to the kingdom.”

Not the answers the YSHDITW committee wanted, however. They wanted to hear, “To increase membership. To increase giving. Won’t cost us a thing, but we’ll make tons and tons of money.” When that tact fell through, they gave up. Or so it seemed. Until the day of the event. Then, while the Evangelism Committee laughed and loved and fellowshipped with the people who came, the YSHDITW Committee sat off to the side. “They should have done it later in the day. They should have done it inside. They shouldn’t have spent so much on food. They should have gotten everyone’s address and bank account balance. They should have . . . they should have . . . they should have . . .”

Members of the YSHDITW Committee never seem to sign up for any other committee but they sure do seem to love their “calling” to that committee. They never help in the planning or execution of anything (except other people’s joy.) They’re “too busy”, they say; don’t have time. But they seem to have plenty of time to sit in judgment of the efforts of other people. It must be nice to be an expert in all things. I just wish that occasionally, they’d take that expertise and share it before something new is tried. Imagine how much more successful things would be if the advice was given before the event, and not during and after. And imagine how much more joy everyone would experience.

A preacher can only dream . . .​​​​​​​