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.