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Been There, Done That

February 9, 2008
by

This is certainly something that I am dealing with. In the past week I have had people either explain why they don’t want anything to do with church or they tell me why a close family member wants nothing to do with church.

The constant refrain is been there done that. Now I can tell you the exact reason but I’m not sure each would matter because if you boiled them down it would be past experience tells I don’t want to be.

So inviting someone to church may be an uphill battle. They may have experienced a judgmental spirit, been there done that, they may have encountered a message that put them to sleep, been there done that, or they may have ran into the jerk from their child’s pee-wee basketball game, been there done that, and so no matter how attractive you may find Jesus and wonderful you think your fellowship is, they may just be thinking been there done that.

Don’t think just because you say it is different they will believe it is true either. My wife referees basketball for a private school that is not based on or supported by church. Because they are a smaller private school they play a lot of schools that are Christian-centered. My wife has informed me that the kids from the private school that is not Christian based often have better sportsmanship and fan support than the Christian schools.

My wife recently had to be escorted to her car by school officials because of one Christian schools fans. Been there done that.

What made me even more aware of this was a visit to the web site of the church that supports the school. Their copy could have been directly lifted from our web site. The goals they claimed and values they wanted to champion were the same as ours. I could split hairs with whether they are really doing that or saying that but it doesn’t matter, they have been there and done that.

Sixty was the number from my earlier post with a forty year window. How long are we going to wait? If you are located in the Bible belt like me you may feel somewhat insulated from all of this. Fifty churches with one on every street corner, some people moved here from Alaska and they were just amazed.

But guess what, if they are been there done that what does it matter? You can have 500 for all they care because they have been there and done that.

Do you want more bad news? Don’t think a good first impression is going to do the trick, now Darin we are so friendly, they’ve been there and done that too.

If all goes well I will share some more from Church on the Move and what they are doing to combat been there done that.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 12, 2008 9:33 pm

    Waiting for your church’s big building project to be completed so your congregation can shift its financial priorities externally? Been there, done that.

    Waiting for the sound man to turn down the soprano’s mike so that she doesn’t drown out the other three parts? Been there, done that.

    Waiting for yourself to carpe diem and do something about it? Been there, done that.

    Waiting for your congregation to greet the guy with blue hair you invited to your congregation because they’re so loving? Been there, done that.

    We’re remodeling our building to hold more people than our parking lot can fit. The Guinness Guys would say, “BRILLIANT!”

    As Charlie Brown would say, “AUGH!”

  2. February 12, 2008 9:38 pm

    Nick,

    I’m not sure where you are at but does the place you worship fit your story or hide it?

    At some point I had to say I am rocky road with a splash of chocolate chip and I was trying to live in a vanilla world.

    Been there, done that.

  3. February 13, 2008 2:29 pm

    Oh, it hides it. My dilemma is about how to fit my story into God’s story most seamlessly.

    Will that happen by praying that my flavor soaks into my worshipping community more powerfully and effectively than their flavor soaks into me?

    Or should I stop trying to save the burnt pot roast and find a new community (leaving behind family and friends – a copout, I know, but real nonetheless)?

    That’s where my thinking lies at present.

    Nick

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