It does pay to attend church! : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

There was just an interesting story on the evening news concerning a black full gospel baptist church in Shreveport,LA. It seems that to break the most "segregated hour" of the week (Sunday at 11:00 am worship service, the pastor of the church has proposed a plan to pay any white family $5.00 an hour to attend service at the church! No, I am not kidding...this was just on the news! It seems that it was placed upon his heart to do this to encourage diversity in worship. I was in awe! I would like to hear from my friends and their opinions upon this issue...paying persons to attend church!

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2003


Bro. Allen you are right, I saw this story on the news and i was also in awe. My opinion is that the pastor should use the word to invitefolks to church. To pay people to attend a worship service is not what God intended when He said Come unto to me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Are we so desperate for a congregation we will do any thing. This is in my opinion bribery.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

I find it interesting that Black folks want so much to be around White folks that we are going so far as to pay them to be around us. One might ask the question "Why is it that a Black person would attend and even join White congregation without any questions or eyebrows being lifted and it is harder for the White folks to do the same with the Black church. My thoughts are that if the church is doing the work of the Lord and if a person is seeking God's will in their life, God will indeed send them to the church that God wants them to be at, Color not being the deciding factor.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

Rev. Allen:

Martin Luther King, Jr. stated in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail that "the last temptation is the greatest treason- doing the right thing for the wrong reason."

Many churches want to see their congregations grow and diversify, and many churches have found many positive and innovative ways in which to reach those goals. However, in our good intentions we have to be mindful about how we go about our Father's business. It not always about what we've done, but how we've done it that makes the difference. If we encourage lost souls to come to Christ because we want lost souls to receive the gift of eternal life is one thing. If we want to encourage people to utilize the talents that God has given them to further kingdom building is one thing. But, to encourage souls to come to Christ to break the most "segregated hour of the week" is quite another. (Is desegregation criteria for you to meet the Lord in the air on Judgement Day?)

Let's pray that our misguided brother reassess his goals and his congregation doesn't get led astray in the process (especially when the money runs out).

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2003

It WASN`T About the money, it was about the challenge to white people especially white males. Here in the south it is a challenge for white men to come and be taught the word of God by a black pastor. Most white men want follow a black man.


-- Anonymous, September 27, 2003

I honestly believe there are other means of getting other races of joining a black church. For instance, the message of God, should drive one to attend church, or the spiritual healing they recieve from that church. I honestly believe that the offering of money should not be the driving force in trying to get one to attend church, because if one doesn't start off with the right intentions, then you can't honestly get a good result. Now, if the minister was outside in the community and preaching on the streets or telling memebers of the church to try to invite more people including individual with a different ethnic background than their own, such as co-workers, bosses, children's teachers,neighbors, etc. I believe that there are other ways to encourage diversity in worship, and we must not turn to what would encourage people to come to service when they are in need for cash, but spiritual guidance that will help stimulate their minds, and give them a closer religious feeling towards God.

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2003

Last year I visited a black Baptist church to help plan a city wide prayer meeting, and I saw several things that distressed me. First, the walls were covered with posters and displays of black heroes and celebrities, a number of who were not godly people. Yet the fact they held status in the black community made them worthy of display on the walls of God's house. To me it was idolatry. Why should Jesus share glory with people? Leave that to the Catholics and their saints.

Were I in the market for a church, I'd have ruled that one out immediately. In addition to the spiritual disagreement I had, as a non-black I'd have felt like a milk bucket under a bull (out of place) surrounded by things that focused on an ethnic group that wasn't mine.

My church makes virtually no mention of race. We're about 2/3 white, and 1/3 Hispanic. There is one black family, and one mixed black/white family.

The older black gentleman is a mentor of mine, and an elder in our church. He says the reason he doesn't go to a black church is they're so often insular, and inward focused. They concentrate on raising the fortunes of the black community rather than advancing the Kingdom of God city-wide. They've lost sight of the Great Commission - the making of disciples around the world.

Unfortunately, I found his comments to be too on-the-mark when we held the city-wide meeting. This poor African-American pastor attended with no one from his church joining him. My pastor, a close friend of his, tells me he receives criticism from his peers for associating too much with white pastors.

Another sad observation: Though there were a number of black folk at the meeting, they attended predominately white Charismatic churches.

You can complain all you like about the most segregated hour in America, but I believe much of it is caused by the African-American church itself. If you want to have a celebration of ethnic culture, form a club. God's house should be a place where we focus on what He cares about.

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2003

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