From the Elders of the Acme church of Christ:
It has been brought to the elders’ attention that we need to fill some spots that have been vacated and neglected for some time. Just as the church has had elders, evangelists, deacons, and teachers for centuries, so we have also had judges. The following are some of the duties we will need judges to perform.
Preacher Critique – We need people who are willing to listen to lessons and read articles and watch out for any grammatical and/or spelling errors. Additionally, catching the preacher make blatant errors like “Moses was on the ark as it rained 40 days and night” or “Noah part-ed the Red Sea”; Then, at the back when you are leaving be sure to make a big deal about it and completely overlook the point (content) of the lesson, that would be helpful. Also, if there are those who would like to be judgmental about how fast or slow the preacher preach-es, how short or long his lessons are, whether he should’ve used power point or not, etc. all those sorts of things could be helpful as well. (I Timothy 1:3-6; John 7:24)
Song Leader Critique – In similar fashion to the preacher, we need people to be judgmental about the songs that were selected, how fast or slow the song leader led the songs, what songs would’ve been better, if the song leader was off pitch at all, etc. Anything to distract from the “encouraging one another with psalms, hymns, spiritual songs”, you know, that would be helpful. (Romans 12:9-11)
Classroom Teacher Critique – We need people to complain about how much the Bible class teachers expect out of their students. After all, this is not home school. We want to keep expectations as low as possible. We also want kids to have fun. So if you hear or see that this is not happening, your responsibilities will be to make us aware, and also to gossip to others about what a better job Teacher (A) does than Teacher (Z) over there. (Romans 14:13)
Deacon Critique – Sure they have day jobs, but they can’t be slackers. We need to make sure the grass is not more than 1.44 inches tall, and need the A/C not too hot and not too cold. After all, these are the matters by which every good church is judged. We could go on and on, but you get the idea. You know, like Burger King – “Your Way. Right Away.” We need judges to be vigilant about the work of these dea-cons, and if they don’t do something the way you think it should be done, or not to your satisfaction, we need you to strain out every gnat (Matthew 23:24). (Philippians 4:7-9)
Elder Critique – We are supposed to be men who are “above reproach”, but realize we are never above the reproach of the judges’ eyes and ears. We need judges to talk about what a rotten job we are doing. How we are not busy and active. How we aren’t exactly “qualified” in their eyes. How we don’t know what we are doing. How you don’t know why the church ever selected us as overseers. A negative and disgruntled view towards the eldership is healthy for church’s stability and growth. It keeps us “on our toes”. (I Timothy 5:17-18: Hebrews 13:17)
Generic Member Critique – While the elders are commissioned with the job of overseeing the spiritual welfare of the flock, we need someone else to take care of all the other stuff. We need a clique of men and/or women to identify and complain about any “cliques” they see forming. We also need some people to gossip about how others dress, how much they weigh, the timeliness of other individuals, the par-ticipation level, etc. These have been an integral part of churches for centuries, and we want to ensure that lasting legacy in our church as well. (Romans 14:10; II Tim. 4:1; James 5:9)
If you think you can fulfill this ministry of judgment, please contact the deacon in charge. We have purposely used the word “critique” so as to not sound as offensive as the word “judgmental”; however, we trust you know what we are getting at. We look forward to fulfilling these spots that have been vacated for far too long. Thanks in advance for your help.
I want to be clear. This article is not against us being observant or critiquing in a constructive fashion. It’s about the attitude we can have sometimes that it is our “job” to be judgmental towards others (Matthew 7:1-5). We cannot lift the church up, by tearing one another down… because we ARE the church (I Cor. 12:12-27). If you see something is wrong, don’t complain about it, don’t be snarky in talk-ing to others in whispered conversations, don’t be dramatic and act as though the church is being ru-ined by things that are quite trivial; in short, don’t judge like man, but instead judge like God (I Samuel 16:7; John 7:24); Judge with a good heart, right motives, unto purity and righteousness (John 8:15-16). Be part of the solution, instead of just a complainer about problems.
To build the church up we need to build one another up (Eph. 4:16). It is our individual duty to main-tain a spirit of unity in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-3). So let us make sure that our words are used for the right purpose – edifying one another (Eph. 4:29). Let us make sure we sing with the right heart – to encourage one another (Col. 3:16). Let’s make sure we partake of the Lord’s Supper – considering one another (I Cor. 11:33). Let’s make sure we attend and participate in services in a manner that strength-ens the church – in truth and love (Eph. 4:15). Let us be humble, and kind, and thoughtful just as Jesus was with us. Our goal is to be spiritually glorious, and let us never think we can get there by slinging mud at one another.