THE FOUR W's OF CHURCH - WIN, WET, WORK, WASTE
"Sadly many churches practice the four W’s: win them, wet them, work them, waste them." - Bruce Gerencser
Once upon a time ..........
You get sold a sales pitch full of lies and offers too good to be true.
"They told me a fairy story,
'Til I believed in the Israelite." - Greg Lake "I Believe In Father Christmas"
"Just believe" all your problems will be solved. Believe us. We know Jesus personally. (How? Through reading a man-made bible, that's how.)
"Jesus is the answer." (But he never answers your questions.)
You are suckered in without using your rational faculties.
You are brainwashed with repetitive Jesus Jingles and mantras. Free mass hypnotism for the people.
You are love bombed with smiley faces. "See, we really love you ... because you're a new convert."
In evangelical / pentecostal churches the next step is adult baptism to prove that you are really serious. Nothing really changes except that you are held under water for a few seconds. It does provide a badge of honour as you are not "sprinkled" like those heathen Christians down the road (Bloody Catholics, Anglicans and Liberals!). You are a "trew kristyun" who has been dunked. You are one of us. Welcome to the club ... now obey all the rules or we'll kick you out of heaven. Attend your weekly indoctrination classes. Don't ask questions.
You get put in a "ministry". Everyone must have a ministry. Your "ministry" will be validated by the pastor who has the final say. Your ministry might begin by mowing the church lawns or cleaning the toilets. If you are a teacher ( like myself) you get a ministry of helping in children's church even though you have worked the last five days at a school and have preparation for those classes to do as well. If you are a musician (like myself) you get put in the "praise and worship ministry team" where you have to play Jesus Jingles for free though your fans pay money to see you elsewhere. You never get an explanation of the difference between praise and worship. Yours is not to question why. Yours is to do and .... Every Jesus Jingle is exactly like the previous and next ones. You never get paid for your ministry even if it is something that takes many hours. Any expertise you may have in any area is now available for free to any church member. You are doing it "for the Lord" though you are never told who the Lord is exactly.
You never get a break from this routine except over the Christmas holidays when the Lord is not so busy and there is no ministry available. Wait till February if you want ministry. You do the same thing every week for years. You get a mention in the church bulletin and a thank you from the pulpit. That's your pay. Nothing ever changes unless a better new convert comes along and then you are relegated to the sidelines. You are especially relegated to the sidelines and menial work if you are not a personal friend of the pastor. If you don't like the pastor then you are removed from "public ministry" where people can see you, perhaps back to cleaning toilets and mowing lawns. If a curvaceous young female comes into the church she is placed ahead of you as having a better ministry. One can only guess what that ministry is as she gets on so well with the pastor.
You read in your bible where slavery is advocated in both the Old and New Testaments and you begin to think that it is a viable option and a better "work for the Lord".
And they all live unhappily ever after if they remain in church.