My progressive-leaning friend from church reminded me a few weeks ago that I should not be afraid to drop him a line at any time to organise a catchup. So I did. And he jumped at it.
It was really good to chat about whatever random things we did. We have a couple of common interests. Audio production is kind of one, as he is a professional singer and musician (guitar) and I am an experienced amateur musician (synth) and sound engineer. We also have similar tastes in fiction. And we have similar problems with the mainstream evangelical church.
I heard some stories about our church I hadn’t heard before. We’ve both pulled back from regular involvement there. I was only on the music roster, but my friend had a paid position for 16 months as the creative ministries director (which meant music). Whilst he was there, the church instituted Wednesday evening practices. Turned out this was the pastor’s idea – not my friend’s. Hmm. He also revealed he had some clashes with the senior pastor who rather liked making things happen his own way. And responded to resistance with simply more pressure.
And reportedly likes Mark Driscoll.
Of course, now that that has been mentioned, I can kind of see why the pastor of my church might like Driscoll. Certainly he is channelling Driscoll’s style, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but he is also mimicking his authoritarian stance, which is probably not a good thing. However, I also remember that I’ve been brought up with broadly that kind of church teaching. The thing different now is that I’m looking for teaching that teaches how to learn for oneself. The church doesn’t do, or if it does, it doesn’t do that well.
It should be noted that I feel the senior pastor doesn’t know quite what to make of me. I’m older and single (separated), but highly individualistic, too, with some experiences most men in the church may not have. He didn’t know how to react the first time he saw me in a kilt, for instance. I knew what he was doing in the first mens’ breakfast he ran early last year and privately lauded him for it – I doubt there were any other men in the room that did.
I am tempted to go back for a visit tomorrow. I’m also sourcing some more literature to read.