Every year around this time the tell-tale signs appear in our area (a stones throw from Saddleback).
• Unusually long lines at Starbucks, Denny’s, Chili’s, donut shops and other eating establishments.
• Men in their 40’s and 50’s with slick backed hair, jeans or pants pulled up too high, wearing Hawaiin shirts like all Californians do. ||wink, wink||
• Women with big hair, lots of makeup, wearing knit slacks, with lots of big jewelry.
• People gathering together at resturants, holding hands and praying loudly with reverberating resonance.
I can only imagine that most of the conversations in and around these conferences include many phrases such as:
“Where you at brutha?”
“How many ya runnin’?
“How many you got on staff?”
“How many small groups you got?”
And of course the old standbye, “Well, Praise the Lord” or “God Bless Ya!”
Standing in line at Starbucks the other morning and watching these people interact, I was so thankful not to be a part of the theatrical drama that is played out in ministry conferences like this and others like it around the world. Everyone puts on their best face, smiles their best smile and places that best foot firmly forward. But like the Hollywood sets located about an hour north of here, once you walk behind the door and peek behind the curtain you discover it is only a facade… it looks good on the outside, but it has the same problems, shallowness and sin that your church has. It’s just bigger, that’s all!