The following is a post by writer, editor, pastor and speaker, Bob Hostetler, author of Quit Going to Church, which will be available next week from Leafwood Publishers. To learn more about Bob, his funny sense of humor and his serious message, you can check him out on Twitter, Facebook and his website: www.bobhostetler.com
I think evangelical churches need a pope. And it needs to be me.
Wait, before you check out on me, hear me out. I wouldn’t wear funny hats or expensive jewels or anything like that. You wouldn’t have to kiss my ring. But I would take some long-overdue steps. For example:
No movable letter church signs. These things do more harm than good. At best, they make Christians look corny, and at worst, stupid and clueless. I might be persuaded to compromise and allow existing signs to stay, as long as they only list worship service and Bible study times. But no more “God answers knee mail.”
A moratorium on church-hopping. Seriously, I think it’s time every church tells its members: stay put. If you get honked off at somebody in your church, learn how to work through it, biblically. If another church opens across town, pray for them to extend the kingdom of God, not just rearrange it.
Redeem old church buildings. Let’s plant new churches in empty church buildings. I know they have baggage, and probably need a lot of work. But someone–many someones–once scraped and sacrificed to build it, so wouldn’t it be cool to redeem their efforts whenever possible?
Scrap Christian television and start over. I have to wonder how many more souls would be in heaven today if a generation or two ago, churches had gotten together to produce quality arts on television–not just preaching, but drama, dance, comedy, etc. So when I am pope, that’s where we’ll start.
Quit producing new Bible translations…for a while at least. Bibles sell. I know that. So every Christian publisher wants their own translation. But it’s getting ridiculous, folks. We don’t read the ones we’ve got. Let’s space ’em out a little bit, and maybe get behind the Wycliffe translators who are doing good work around the world. Once the Bible exists in every language, THEN maybe we can circle around and commission a new Midwest Dialect Bible Version.
What do you think? It’s just a start. There would be more than that, of course. But it’s not just a bunch of papal bull. I think it’s long overdue. Don’t you?