Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Field Guide to North American Pew Folk

A few weeks back we all sympathized with Wills Smama in her interactions with Random Thought Woman and many of us admitted having her twin sister or clone in our own faith community.

I'm wondering if any of you have had experience with another congregation member prototype: Sweeping Proclaimation Man, (SPM hereafter). At my church, SPM is not on the Session and serves only a minor role on one Committee--however he considers himself so supremely knowledgable about church affairs locally, regionally, and nationally that he feels the need regularly to inform me and other chosen church leaders when we are being clueless and wrong-headed.

For example, two weeks ago we had a very sucessful VBS week. We changed curriculum after several years and everyone was happy with the switch, we had more kids than we'd had the last couple of summers, and we were gratified to see many "unfamiliar faces"--kids from families not involved at our church. However--SPM, who was not present on campus at any point during VBS, felt it necessary to e-mail me and every member of the Christian Ed Committee to inform us that we had neglected to notice that several of the neighboring school districts were still in session at the time of our VBS and this was why our VBS was such a dismal failure as an outreach project. But if we wanted out VBS to continue as "merely entertainment for our own youngsters" by all means, carry on.

If he had asked, we'd have told him that we agonized about this issue, but finally came to the conclusion that if we waited until a later week, we'd be up against our own school district's high quality, very popular summer school offerings with the result that fewer kids from our church and community would participate. (And thus, fewer parents would volunteer, fewer teens would be availabe to assist, etc., etc. etc.)

Have any of you seen this man or his female counterpart? Strategies for dealing???

9 comments:

Lorna said...

love the tone of this post ... :) and I rejoice that the outreach did attract new people and that families were able to volunteer to help

SPM could just kindly be told to shut up :) (oops did I say that? Surely not!)

Songbird said...

Retired Senior Pastor of Large Church (where I was a member for 15 years before entering ministry) used the Juliette Gordon Low method of dealing with such people: selective deafness. Sometimes that works *really* well.

cheesehead said...

At St. Stoic this member goes by the moniker "Marge: Large and in Charge". Note that the member need not be female and is never actually named Marge (not yet anyway).

Favorite phrase: "Some people are saying..."

Why, just this week MLAIC sent me an e-mail with a wonderful idea in it. She refuses to take credit for the wonderful idea, however, and hides behind this mythical population of "some people". Funnily enough, these are the same "people" who tried to overtake the authoriy of Session just a few weeks ago!Hmmm..."some people" sure do have a lot of time on their hands!

thereverendmomat yahoodotcom said...

Someone at a church I served called the guy "Junior" as shorthand for "God Jr."

St. Casserole said...

HAHAHAHA! I'm loving this and hope it becomes a series throughout our blogs. Or, has it already and I've been too busy eating chips and drinking Diet Coke? Let me go see....

Lorna said...

yeah I'm loving this too - would the Rev Gals be interested in publishing this - we could perhaps with a cartoonist ... we'd laugh and laugh and laugh (and it's better than crying!)

see-through faith said...

PS it's not only in N. America!

will smama said...

Mine finally got so frustrated he left the church... tough time but now that we are through it I giggle every time I see his ass imprint on the outgoing part of the door.

Purechristianithink said...

In light of full disclosure: the "pew folk" line came from a very funny cartoon a collection that I think was called, "Preacher from the Black Lagoon" I don't think we can steal it for an RGBP Book Title. Pity.