Someone once said, "It is a sin to bore people with the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Following is a true story:
How To Be Ineffective
There's a man standing in a suit when you first come into the building. If you're lucky he may open the door for you. You're supposed to shake his hand and ask him how he's doing. He'll tell you things like "I'm doing." or, "I'm hanging in there." He sounds like he's divorcing his wife or she has cancer or something. I want to tell him how much Jesus makes me better than just being able to hold on.
At this place they have key phrases like "minding the Lord," "praying through," "looking to the Lord in prayer." If you're above 50 and meet certain qualifications you can stand up and tell about how horrible your life is, but how much Jesus is helping you with stuff. The tears are socially awkward, but I think you get extra points for it.
Earlier I followed people into a room in the basement. If it weren't for the attitude of my fellow students I would have though they were going to come tell us to strip off our clothes and "take a shower." Then this man who forgot about us, but said he didn't, came into the room. It got worse.
"My name is Paul. To your dismay, I'm the teacher."* Paul talked about many things. In particular there was a book named Ruth that he taught from. "Dedication" was his topical theme. How he got that from Ruth I am still not sure. "Babcock and Wilcox. I worked there for 15 years until an outside corporation took over. No dedication for the worker from the corporation." he lamented. "This is the way it is today in our society. No dedication. No effort. No pride. It is not seen in our world today. We should show the world a life that hasn't been seen."
People told Paul, "I can tell the difference in the way you work, act, and talk."
"It's nothing I've done." he said. "It's what Christ has done for me."
After relaying this conversation Paul told us, "I did the right thing. Yes, there is problems in the church. The devil's fighting us. Sometimes we have to square our shoulders and go to God and tell him our failures. We have decisions. If we didn't, we'd be a robot."
Then he told us more about Ruth and that affection toward the opposite sex is not wrong. "The lady is a weaker vessel. The Bible says so. You don't want a wife that's lazy. You want a companion. I don't ever have to remind my wife to pack my lunch. I PACK MY OWN! This is part of growing up and adulthood. Ruth had shown that she would be a good wife - clever, industrious, dedicated. Christ is saying that we can get to heaven if we overcome our perfections."
He ended with a little advice. "Be dedicated to yourself."
"My wife wants me to wear a tie." he said, wearing a tie. "I'm in a position: Sunday School teacher, usher. There will be rewards."
A bell rang later. We escaped.
Upstairs, the bass player practices his octaves and runs, during a set order of songs. I'm not sure if they're pre-set or not. Maybe they're so good the leader can pick any song at random and voila, everyone knows it. If so, I'm not sure how many is in their repetoire. The song leader looks like a Mormon convert. I'm afraid if I shook his hand it'd fall off. For a man wearing a suit he was very effeminate.
They also have unpaid actors. They're young stars - toddlers. They perform great stuff for you. Unfortunately, you can tell they are flagrantly upstaging the pastor, but we don't care, right?
*(Not his real name)