Submitted by St_Clinton on Sat, 06/25/2011 - 00:53
This blog isn't about really about false beliefs in any religion, but more about false beliefs in ones self.
In my previous blog I talked a little about how people ask me how they can get involved in things in the church like I am. I mentioned the ezine Diobytes which is put out by the diocese that I live in. I am sure that there are other Episcopal and denominations that have there own ezine, and you should check to see if they exist where you live, and subscribe.
But one of the things that I think causes people to invite me is that I don't spend much time talking about all of the things that I go to nor spend time boosting about the things that I can do. Now the Bible does teach against boosting, and I try not to, but at times I will.
When I go elsewhere I try and listen to what is needed if something is brought up, and do my best not to insert myself into things because I feel that I have superior knowledge about what is going on. I think that if I http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=afroanglicans-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0898692393&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrwere to do that, it would upset people. In the congregation that I am in, most of the time I listen to the people and if there is something that I can help with I do my best to help. When we switched over to using a computer for the music, it was because the organist had found a job that would require him to work some Sundays, and between his skills at being able to play and to put things into Midi format, and my ability to build computer systems, we went that route. It took a few weeks, but the congregation quickly came to love doing the songs via midi because one of the things that I was able to do with some of the traditional stuff is to change the instruments that they could relate to that our organ does not have the ability to do. What started off as an experiment turned into something that the vestry voted to be what is the now the official source for music in the congregation. The only time that they have had no problem with the music is when the now former organist would come back from time to time and I could talk him into playing something, as he knew how the congregation liked how something is played. Others have come in and tried to play either the organ or piano, but because they really lack the knowledge of what the people like, I have heard a ton of complaints. One portion of the congregation told me to NEVER let one of the people EVER play again for them, as they felt that the person was totally clueless as to how something is suppose to be played and did a really bad job with a number of errors. But going back to a non-midi format doesn't appear to ever going to happen again unless someone with top skills comes along.
I think that another reason that they enjoy having me do it also comes to the music that I play before the http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=afroanglicans-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0664500145&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrservice, during the communion and after service. I listened to what they had to say as to what they like, and I play what they like along with listening to what they have to say when it comes to what they don't like. I know that if I didn't listen to them, and played only the things that I liked or thought that they should hear, the church would become more empty than it already is.
With people who think that they have all of this knowledge about stuff and supposed skills, they really turn people off real fast if they don't bother to listen. They forget that the church does not revolve around them. They come upon a self importance that is damaging to the church. They impose what they want and really don't care nor see how they have really hurt the church. I think that the way to find a great Lay Leader in a congregation, or even a Great Clergy person in a congregation is to see how they interact with people. When they spend their time talking about themselves and all that they have done they really don't spend the time listening to learn about the people that they are dealing with, they turn people off real fast. When others come up with ideas and they claim to have knowledge and tell someone how wrong they are, they cause people to leave and go elsewhere. There beliefs can be so false that they not only hurt the church, but Christianity as a whole.
Oh I can hear people saying something like "But when I was at (insert name of church here,) the people loved this, or it worked this way,) doesn't mean that they people in the congregation you are at now will want it that way, and it could be something that they did in the past and have no interest in doing it. Each congregation is different, and one really needs to get an understanding of the congregation first.
For some people they get a title and make more of that title than what they ask for. They ask for a title in order to do one thing, then think that they can do all a number of other things because of the title, but in reality http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=afroanglicans-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0898692261&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrthey are claiming powers that they really don't have, then they get upset when it is pointed out to them that they don't have the power that they think they have. I feel sad for them, as many of them end up with hurt feelings and looking really stupid when it is pointed out to them. I'm watching someone now who thinks that the title they have means more than what they were given. It's really sad, as they will get hurt in the end.
I think that some of the cults that exist today are because people who lead these cults have a false belief in themselves. These people have such self importance that it is really about them, not really about the Holy Trinity. But I also believe that some of these groups that we do refer to as cults really are being lead by the Holy Trinity and are doing the works that are needed.
Want to get involved in your congregation? Learn to Listen, and if you have ideas on possibly improving things in some way or have something new that you would like to see happen in the congregation, have a conversation with people in the congregation and really hear what they are saying. Before you tell someone that they are wrong, wonder in your head if they can could be right. Open you minds and hearts to new ideas and ways of doing things. Ask where the congregation needs help, and step outside of your comfort zone to help in those things where you think that you can actually learn something new and build upon your skills so if needed you can step in and help. When you limit yourself, you limit the church. Always remember that the person that you think that you have more knowledge and skills than could be Jesus returned. Always remember that what did X number of years ago doesn't always apply to today. Always remember that the church doesn't revolve around you, but you revolve around the church.