Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Morning Ramblings

The other night I was at our home town "Chamber of Commerce dinner". This is an annual event to award the man and woman of the year, as well as a few other awards, one of which went to a man in our church who won the "beautification award" for fixing up a building downtown. This building (years ago) was our Doctor's office. Dr. Feldmeyer... he delivered all four of us kids... stitched up my hand when I was 5 years old (there's a whole other story for another time) and made numerous house calls. When this years' man of the year accepted his award the other night he talked about Dr. Feldmeyer and how he cared for a car accident victim for several months (this is years ago, before insurance companies ran the health care system) and accepted NO pay for it!
Which gets me to the point of this post (or nearly so)....

I'm thinking that life 30, 40 and 50 years ago was way better than now.
*Doctors made house calls (and when he came to our house for one kid, he'd check all the others just to be on the safe side).

*"Mom and Pop" stores were just that... little stores that served the community and where everybody knows your name. (We actually had one of those stores for years! It's gone now...)

*Problems in schools had more to do with gum chewing than with drugs and gangs.
Speaking of schools - They actually had orchestra, band, mens glee club, women's glee club, choir, courses in Latin, German, French, Spanish... , homemaking, woodshop, auto shop, etc. (they actually prepared kids for the real world, and not just for taking tests! See previous blog post about school tests.

O.K. now to the real point of this post(and what prompted this long rambling rant)
Like "Mom and Pop stores" and House calls... I wonder if the small church is a thing of the past (or nearly so). "Mom and Pop" stores get swallowed up by big chain stores. Small churches dwindle and "get swallowed up" by bigger churches who can offer more programs, better music, high-power preaching, and the prospect of anonymity to people who attend. Small churches take hard work and sacrifice. Like the days of the "Mom and Pop stores" (like my family's store) - when you walk into a small church, you're treated like family. And when you miss, it's noticed! When you need something, people rally to help. "Everybody knows your name" in small churches. But there are drawbacks. It is said (I don't know who said it, and in fact, I'm really just making this up to sound smart... cause it looks good when you include statistics in an article) that in any group 20% of the people do 80% of the work. So, when your congregation is 80 people (which ours is if everybody shows up on the same Sunday!), that's 16 people. Yep, that's about right.

So, in a town of 10,000 people, we have about 20 churches. It seems like a lot. There is one "Big" church in town. (It's the one "everyone" goes to). Then, there are a few medium size churches (between 100-200) and then there's our size... (we actually used to be more before a bunch left and started their own church)... about 80 people. There are smaller churches than ours... a handful and they just keep plugging along.

Hmmm,what was the point of this anyway? Oh yeah, is there really a place for small churches anymore? Do we just give up and close up shop and be swallowed up by the medium to big size churches? Or do we still have something to offer? It's Monday morning so I am rambling and thinking. *Sigh* Yes! There still is a place for us. We may not have the best music, the high-power, motivational speaker type messages, the latest programs but we do have:
Love for God and His Word and the absolute confidence in His power to save and help us in every day life.
Love for the people in our congregation.
Love for the people around us.

We are the Doctor Feldmeyer's, the "Mom and Pop" store, the simple church. "We're not in Mayberry anymore" but we can still live and act like it.

Time to turn off the computer and get some work done.

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