Please know that I started this post quite sincerely with the words "Dear" Pastors. Regardless of whether I enjoy your services or not, I hope you understand that something inside me so deeply respects your title and your calling, that you are "dear" people.
But there are a few things in general that concern me about all of you, and I hope to politely, and respectfully address them.
I didn't come to church for a sermon.
I came to worship Christ, and learn of Him and how to walk more closely with Him.
I come, because like a personal trainer, you say the words that remind me why I'm doing what I'm doing and how much deeper there is to go than where I'm at.
I come because often, Christs presence is manifested and that just amazes me. But it's beyond disappointing to have you take a moment when we should be waiting quietly on the Lord, and since nothing happened for 2 minutes you move us on to give your sermon.
And speaking on that sermon... I expect you to speak of Christ. Christ crucified, and how that impacts my life today. I expect you to verbally challenge not only the dross, but the silver in my life - anything that takes away from the gold purity of the perfect life of Christ living in me.
I expect you to explore concepts of the Bible that have come to you through careful study of the Word. Because, of all the programs in your church that require your attention, few are quite as important as gathering the food with which you must "feed His sheep". Because if you are a pastor, of a church, then I assume that was your calling. Feeding.
I'm responsible for feeding myself. But I've got to tell you, nothing is quite as wonderful as having someone preach Christ, and Christ crucified, and who is willing to preach Jeanette crucified as well. Because regardless of the fact that I write a Christian blog, who cares that I've spent 29 years listening to sermons and I should know all these things - I still need to have you remind me that I'm supposed to be dead, and Christ is supposed to be living in me. I need to be reminded that I'm supposed to do EVERYTHING as unto the Lord. And not just the few items that I deem to be "Spiritual". I just need a lot of reminders.
To go a little further than that - I need you to preach this gospel without apology or the considerate way people have of saying "I know it's hard, but you really should." I need you to stand up, firmly, and say this is the way walk ye in it. Period. No mollycoddling. No sympathy for how much I might not want to commit to memorizing scripture or giving up my hobby horses that consume my time and thoughts and emotions.
And I need you to do it yourself too.