Thursday, September 30, 2010
"I was in the military, attending a church every Sunday, pretty religious if you ask me. It was time for my second child to be baptized and the godparents and in-laws were coming in on Friday night. I went down to the church and asked the pastor if we could do the baptism on Saturday. He explained that the baptism had to happen during a weekend service. I explained that my family was only going to be here Saturday. He said no. I told him I had invested $6k in the church the year before and not to spend it this year because it wouldn't be there. Where the hell does the Bible say you have to baptize in front of X number of people? I never went back."
This was the conversation I overheard five minutes ago as I sat drinking my tall skinny pumpkin spice latte. It was followed by similar stories from the others sitting in the circle. I've heard these stories countless times before. I've read about these stories in books I read about the de-churched. But, I still get heartbroken and angry every time it happens.
Make no mistake, I overheard this conversation from the opposite side of the coffee shop, but it was intended for my hearing. I frequent the coffee shop as does this group. We say hello, we've exchanged names, we've shared friendly banter when we end up in each other's seats. They know who I am and what I do, and today they wanted me to hear what they think about the church.
I hope this is the first step closer to them being open to me joining the conversation. It's taken a year to get this far.
I need some feedback. What do you think when you hear this kind of conversation? Have you had a similar experience personally or with a friend or co-worker who still won't accept your invitation to worship?
Talk to me please.