As someone with Asperger's I am always puzzled by people in that they never mean what they say. And one place where that is the case is in the church.
Over the last few years, I've had conversations with lay people where much is made about what is wrong with the church, or their church. In most of the cases, I could agree with them. What is interesting, is that while these people are good at pinpointing the problem, they are terrible in offering a solution.
More to the point, they don't seem interested in offering a solution. They can point to a solution, but they have no interest in putting the time into said solutions.
I've wondered a lot about that. If they know what the answer might be, why aren't they doing it?
As a pastor, sometimes it feels that you are working on your own. As much as we Protestants, and especially Disciples like to talk about the high regard we give to the Laity, most of us still believe it is up to the clergy to get things done. It's not a big surprise that pastors tend to burnout, distrustful of the church.
Part of me wonders if people in the pews feel powerless to really make any change. Maybe those who do have ideas and spark are afraid that they will be swatted down by pastors who fear their power is being taken away, or members that like things the way they are.
In my less charitable moments, I wonder if it is because they like to complain, but don't really care about making a difference. It's fun to be the one pointing out all the flaws. Better than getting down and dirty and trying to solve and issue or find ways to help revitalize a ministry.
I don't know. All I do know is that as someone once said, it would be nice to have people stop talking about what's wrong with the church and actually staring being the church.
Okay, my rant is done for now.