Friday, June 27, 2008

Another "What if?"

Lorraine, the pastor of the Quaker church we attend, told me recently about the time she came to church with laryngitis. Only, she didn't realize she had laryngitis until she got up to speak and nothing came out. She told me that the great part about it was that it wasn't a big deal. The meeting just naturally shifted into unprogrammed silent worship, where anyone can speak if they feel led by the Spirit. The congregation, being Quaker, was already adept at doing this. They weren't dependent upon a pastor or worship leader.

This got me to thinking: What would happen at most churches if the pastor and worship band didn't show up for the Sunday service? I imagine that people would sit and wait for someone up front to do something. There would be murmuring. After a little while they would begin to mill around and talk to one-another. Gradually, they would leave--disappointed that church didn't happen.

And what would the typical pastor do if he (since the pastor is typically a he) suddenly discovered that he couldn't speak to deliver the sermon? Would it be a mad scramble to fill time and make something work? Or would he rest in the knowledge that the congregation could have church just fine without him?


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