Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dating Challenges of the Shy Anglican Parish

This morning, I was thinking about all the struggling little Anglican parishes I have known in my 22 years in Anglicanism.  Some have gone under due to losing "critical mass".  One of those was among the most beloved parishes my wife and I have attended.  And yet, somehow, it couldn't attract enough parishioners to itself to survive.

I got to thinking how unfair this is, that so many beautiful, small Anglican parishes are struggling.  As I thought about this, I thought about the metaphor of a shy, introverted girl who is longing to go out on dates with a gentleman, but against whom the entire deck seems stacked when it comes to the dating scene.

I think many folks get attracted to a loud, boisterous, in-your-face church, perhaps with a worship band loud enough to hear when you drive by the church building in a car.  Churches with big youth groups, singles ministries, and a host of other programs.  Churches that promise a lot.  Churches that "put out" on the first date.

I think it is very easy for a nice, shy parish to get lost in the noise.  I mean, one cannot just put a marquee sign out front that says:  "Come, experience our AWESOME humility!!!"  Or, "Hey, come behold our EARTH-SHATTERING quiet reverence!!"

I don't have an answer to this problem.  I'm just blogging about it to share my sadness that so many nice, shy Anglican "girls" get overlooked.

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