While trying to understand my family situation, with me being the only member of the family attending church on my side of the family three-of-16. I find myself asking why no one else in the family attends church. After the death of Nana this past June, it became a real issue for me. All the Preacher could say about Nana is she liked to shop, and she liked to shop, and finally she liked to shop. I wanted to stand up and scream and beg please do not let this happen again having a family member pass away and all the Preacher could say is they liked to shop. This is how I find myself trying to understand why family members aren’t attending church, what happened to the church missionary, and the churches role in its decline and relevance in the community and if it were a military unit how would it be different.
Something fundamental changed in me after the death of Nana. Out of guilt I stopped being quiet about my faith, until then I had kept it quiet and to myself. Then I started a campaign of trying to get family members into church, even having the family members on prayer requests. Could I be the reason that no one goes to church in the family, a possibility that I have considered than again I moved to Atlanta in 1996, and family members were not attending then either. Could it be a Petrowski thing not attending church I wondered? Once a Priest approached me, who said my name “Petrowski” then he informed me that my name stood for Peter the Apostle, and then the Priest continued on his way. Therefore, this leaves me wondering about the churches role in this. I consider myself an outsider not being raised in the church proper, and my goal is to offer a new prospective on the condition of the church.
The church as frat house-a house used as a residence by a chapter of a fraternity. I could have said a temple of old, but a frat house seems more appropriate. Like a fraternity, outsiders are not welcomed openly and you are born into for full membership. Another thing about the church most if not all the church leadership is college educated and may have the frat mentality instilled in them in school. Thus, college educated people want to hang with people of the same persuasion. Most members of churches only voluntary in the frat house and only in the community when it is sanctioned or endorsed by the church. This has led to the church isolating itself from the community. When does the community see the church only on outreach programs that are seen as recruitment drives by the public and to show the flag. The church leadership has its members so tied up in church functions and meeting that it would be difficult for a member to be truly involved in the community.
We as christens are called to be missionaries not a few but all of us. What is a missionary I believe that most people do not know? After limited observation of missionaries in training in New York City, I conclude that a missionary is integrated into the community. Furthermore trying to fill needs in the community with support of the church and to be a living witness of the gospel. We as christens are not being missionaries in the community, the schools, the hospitals, or other places to offer fellowship with non-believers.
I like to compare missionaries to Calvary Scouts, the eyes and ears of the commander or church. They both wear camouflage trying to blend into their surrounding and not appear out of place, the suits and dress blues stay at home. They both are at the sharp end of the sword, and heavily armed. The missionary is armed with the word of God and the backing of the church. The Calvary Scout is heavily armed and has fire support from higher. The church handle recruits, only in the frat house and only on its terms with limited exposer to the outsider. How does the US Army handle recruits, as a sergeant it was my responsibility to train the solider. Furthermore, I get to know the soldier and his family, this was customarily done while playing, spades, a card game.
Given what I have written, this may help to explain why my family is not in church, background of artisans with a trade skill or my fellow enlisted soldiers. You will not find me on any church boards or in a leadership position, too busy for that. I am currently involved in the community is a couple of different ways and hope to add another one soon. I’ll always be in church somewhere and I hope you will be someday, imagine if us outsiders overwhelmed the Frat House one day by shear numbers. The Church is the best place to learn about Christ and the Cross. We as outsiders have a lot to learn and grow as christens, and that is only going to happen in a community of believers the church. The only thing the church knows about the community is what they watch on Television, given that it is passive, you are likely to believe what you see and hear on the TV. The church and its members have chosen to isolate itself from the community therefor losing influence and respect of the community as a whole.