Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Greg Fish on Hispanic Ministry

I love the church.  I love ministry.  I love Hispanic ministry.  But there is one thing that I don't like about many models out there.  To give a little context to my thoughts here, I've been in Brownsville, TX (on the border by the sea) for two years.  I have taken part in and am a member of the Alianza Ministerial Evangélica de Brownsville (an Spanish ministerial alliance) which is celebrating 50 years this year to be precise, this week.  So the big 3 day celebration is underway and will culminate with tonight's dinner/ concert.  Over 900 tickets have been sold, the event center is ready and waiting.  It would have been good for me to be present at the last meeting, but I was busy pulling into the gates of Sea World with my boys only to find that they were closed, but that's beside the point.  Had I been there, I would have known what exactly was being planned.  I found this little detail last night over the loudspeaker-- that the "princes of the church" (a reference made of pastors) would be seated together at the front (the head table, so to speak), a place of honor.  Having conversed with another pastor over the phone this morning, I came to know that "we" would be served on china, and everyone else on cardboard plates. 


I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, but I would rather be with my people than up there.  My people asked if there was arranged seating.  I told them we'd all try and sit together.  In fact, the speaker that has been flown in to speak three nights has been hammering this point in, community-- not individualism.  Yet those running the show really seem to relish this place of honor.  Self-abnegation is lacking in many circles in the Hispanic Christian community.  This is not the only instance, it's just something that has brought it all back.  I've even lost people to another church, because I was too down to earth.  Down here, the pastor is elevated so high, to a place that certainly does not jive with scripture.  It would do some people good to revisit John 3:30.  I would guess that if Jesus were at tonight's event, even He would rather sit with the sheep, over dining with the "dignitaries".


I just may have to make a subtle statement tonight.  One of my jobs tonight is to video the event.  So I can probably discreetly choose an outside table for video-filming purposes.  After all, who's gonna want the distraction of a video camera up front and center?


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