Let’s rename the church
My daughter’s BFF suggested a new name for the church I pastor: Miss Meg’s God Shack. Apparently, the Baptist title is much too scary. I can’t say that I disagree with her. A church that slaps a Baptist sign outside seems to think that indicates they can do and say whatever they wish. Yes, as Baptist we have the whole autonomous thing, but often that seems like a license to exclude. That is the reason that I belong to the American Baptist denomination. They are supportive of women in ministry, and are far more inclusive than any other type of Baptist that I am familiar with. That does not mean that being a woman pastor in the American Baptist Church is an easy thing. Far from it, but that is another story, for another time.
If I could create “Miss Meg’s God Shack,” I would have some rules.
1. Our Goal, Our purpose, Our everything would be: Love God. Love People. The end.
Everyone is people. You are people. I am people. Your neighbor- people. Your boss- people. People need love, and that what this is all about. If we cannot love people, there is no point in the church.
2. We do not meet in a church building.
We meet in a shelter, homes, parks, maybe rent a storefront or something. Let’s not be a slave to keeping a building running. Yes, old church buildings are beautiful, and I am not saying knock them down, but what does it take to maintain them, and isn’t there better use of the money we spend on that? I don’t believe God intended for us to build great buildings and become more devoted to the building itself than to the creator of the universe.
3. No skinny jean, smoke machines, strobe lights.
I do not care what people wear. It is not about putting on a show, it is about Jesus and authentic worship. If that happens singing Amazing Grace acapella, great! If it takes some Kari Jobe, that works too.
4. Have Coffee, will travel.
This preacher needs her coffee, so wherever we meet, there will be a coffee pot, or carry-in coffee in the midst of us. If you want water, a pepsi, whatever, that works too.
5. Crying babies, kids, people with special needs, and everyone in between are welcome.
We spend way too much time telling kids to be quiet or complaining about a crying baby; noise means life in the church, and I welcome the noise.
6. Shoes are optional. I don’t wear my shoes to preach now, so why should I change that. No one else needs to wear their either, unless they want to.
This is it for me. I want to talk about Jesus and love for every single person who ever lived, without exception. I am looking for honest and simple. I think that is what other people are looking for as well, and it has all gotten lost in the- this is what we must do, this is how you must dress, this is how you must act, this is what you must say, or it is not church.
Welcome to Miss Meg’s God Shack, where we love God and we love others, the end.
Original Post March 27, 2017