Jump directly to the Content

WHEN MINDSETS COLLIDE

With people of different outlooks rubbing shoulders in the pew, there will be more than a few sparks.

I will never forget sitting in my office as two factions in my church collided like two opposite-bound freight trains on the same track. As the founding pastor, I had begun this work a few months earlier with a firm commitment to inclusiveness. Now I was swept up in a showdown.

The organist was from a Presbyterian background. The pianist's roots were Pentecostal. Each Sunday morning service began with the organist playing Bach preludes … la Virgil Fox at the Notre Dame Cathedral and the pianist primed to play her praise songs … la Dino at the Shrine Auditorium. While I thought the mixture was wonderful, both women were appalled and hostile.

Armed with their followers, they had come to my office for a worship committee meeting. The atmosphere was anything but conducive to thoughts of worship. The scene looked more like arms negotiations with the Soviets. Both sides were convinced there was no room in this new church for what the other offered.

At that point I had to make a fundamental ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

May/June
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
How Culture Shapes Sermons
How Culture Shapes Sermons
Recent books on culturally distinct preaching challenge misconceptions and equip diverse pastors to better address a multiethnic world.
From the Magazine
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
Money promises autonomous abundance. But we need someplace where we cannot hide.
Editor's Pick
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Interview
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Matthew D. Kim believes addressing pain is part of a preacher’s calling.
close