Churches in grievous state
    July 28 2008 by Sharranne G. Lloyd, Fayetteville

    I am an agent for a Christian music evangelist. My artist seeks to encourage the Church through music and testimony. Over the last two years she has ministered to 139 churches. I sometimes make 75 calls a day seeking engagements on her behalf.

    Talking to pastors and staff over the past two years I have:
    1  Been hung up on;
    2. Lied to;
    3. Deceived and put off;
    4. Legally qualified;
    5. Told I'm not interested and hung up on;
    6. And received many other negative attitudes.

    I am the wife of a Southern Baptist minister and have experienced this with SBC churches also.
    Until I started this ministry with my friend, I had no idea of the grievous state of the Church in North Carolina. I grieve over this "dead state" of the Church. This is present in all denominations throughout the state. You would be shocked at the number of pastors, staff and secretaries I counsel and pray with on a daily basis who are struggling with the meaninglessness of the Church's ministry.

    Good brothers and sisters in Christ, something must change and that is the membership and leadership of the body. We need to seek a better relationship with Christ and take it to a hurting and lost world; wherever we sing, pray, serve and certainly worship.

    7/28/2008 9:34:00 AM by Sharranne G. Lloyd, Fayetteville | with 3 comments

I too was going to say that I was amused but I feel rather saddened instead. I was merely trying to provide some context for the adverse reaction to Ms. Lloyd's calls and was not seeking to act as an apologist for the state of the modern church. I beg to differ, Brother Mark, but I am acutely aware of the failings of any local church. I too have tried to seek cooperation for ministry and have been soundly ignored, both within our church and outside of it.

I have found, however, that most pastors are seeking to lead their folks to either a new realtionship with the Lord or to a renewed awareness of loving and serving God. I struggle each day with the pastoral role and often fall short in many areas of leadership. Yes, I would love to see a sweeping movement of His Spirit across our churches and to see transformed lives in every home in our community and beyond. I also know that in spite of other's perceptions, there is active ministry that reaches out to people in many ways. I believe that we should guard against seeing things only through the lens of our particular aspect of ministry.

I also agree things need to change...John had it right when he said that "He must increase, but I must decrease."
7/30/2008 3:05:23 PM

Ms. Lloyd,
I am a pastor and I couldn't agree with you more. I am also amused by Mr. Aldridge who doesn't even realize the sad state of the church that he is a part of each day. Most of the reaction you have experienced is the fear of most pastors willingness to go beyond their own vision and allow God to be God. I have been involved in state wide mission projects for many years that are done under an arm of the SBC and very well known, I receive the same response when I call these pastors to try to ask for some level of partnership within their own communities. This is the same attitude the people of the pews have and it is one of the many reasons lost people are turned OFF by the church of today. If you stand back and look at the model of the church Christ set forth for us, and compare it to the church of today, you can see what a grievous state Christ must also be feeling. The church of today is no more than a local community social organization who chooses to minister only to the membership, therefore being inwardly focused and seldom reaching out to the unknown, unloved, and outcast of their community. I agree something must change.
7/29/2008 4:44:54 PM

Dennis Aldridge
Ms. Lloyd
I am truly sorry that you have received a poor response to your calls, but allow me to temper your perception just a bit. I am pastor of a small, rural, single staff church and have no filter between me and the phone. I recieve several solicitations on any given day for anything from artists desiring bookings to credit card processing. I attempt to be kind as long as possible and often request that I be removed from their call list as I do not believe that our church could or would participate in that company's product. It is only when I receive repeated calls that I get a little terse! I can imagine the same is true of other churches, especially those larger than ours.

Again, you should be treated with respect but there are times that I know right away that something is not appropriate and I will say so in an effort to save your time and mine. I am not sure if the responses to your calls are truly an indictment of the church or an indication of the time pressure that we all feel from time to time. I am less apt to respond in a positive manner to unsolicited calls if I am engaged in study or dealing with an issue in someone's life. I hope your artist finds many opportunities to minister and that the Lord can be glorified in all that you do.
7/29/2008 1:47:58 PM

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