Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What church member type are you?

There are five types of people in your church. Or was that four? Oh wait! Six! 
No, there are actually 13 types.  My mistake, there are three.

The main thing is to categorize. Categorize, categorize, categorize. Church experts believe that Jesus chose 12 apostles so he could divide them into 2s, 3s, 4s or 6s for various purposes during the course of his ministry. It's important that we do the same. As one leading church expert says:  
Categorizing people is helpful to determine where to focus your time and energy and to wake you up to the reality that some people, despite their excitement and interest, simply are not on board. -- Resurgence

The sooner you categorize those in your fellowship, the sooner you can weed out the burrs and thistles.


cobucult.wordpress.com said...

We used to love to categorize. Every meeting had a long "let's make our divisions" session. The names of the divisions varied according to the current message or the program being driven by the pastor, but the underlying format was always the same:

Who do we see as being faithful to "it" and doing "it?"
Who has been doing "it" sometimes and sometimes not?
And, lastly, who are the rebels, who are not doing "it?"

Curious behavior resulted from these divisions. Few people would put themselves forward to claim they were in the 1st category, because then they'd have to prove it. (Plenty of people on hand to shout you down.) And nobody wanted to be in the 3rd category, because you'd be brought up to be talked to publicly and marked for "encouragement and heat" for the entire week to come, which in a live-in communal church, meant that you were not likely find any respite from this. So what you got was grown adults acting helpless and all clamoring to be voted in the "I'm sort of faithful, sometimes, but sometimes not, but I make a commitment right now to start over again" category. Week after week, the same thing.

The pastor encouraged all this, because the purpose of the meetings was to break us down and to make us helpless, pliable, and manageable - learning once again that we were unfaithful wretches and that we needed Jesus - or that really, we needed the pastor, because he was the one who was able to see our desperate condition and explain the terms and conditions for escape from it.

One of my current favorite names for this treatment is "chemotherapy for the soul." It might almost kill you. It left you weak and worn out, but only a drastic treatment could save you from the disease of sin.

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