We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is Your Church “Too Bibley”

Last week at church a lady friend came in a bit late, saw an empty spot next to me and my wife and asked to sit with us.   However, she was there for less than five minutes when she said she just spotted a lady several rows in front of us who she had previously invited to our church, so she got up to sit with her.
This week this lady friend apologized for abruptly leaving our company and explained that the other woman was looking for a church after leaving her previous assembly.  Now, this previous assembly was one we had attended our first few weeks in town back in 1996, and I call it “Willow Creek Iowa.”  They are all about entertainment and programs (although they usually had good teachings from the pulpit back in 1996) and just recently built a HUGE new facility for the multitudes who have been joining - most just transferring from other Christian bodies.
Well, our friend said this lady decided our church was “too Bibley” and boring - she didn’t like the music - so she would not be returning.
I have to agree that our church is “Bibley.”  We have excellent leadership and our pastor is a very good Bible teacher.  He doesn’t preach “feel-goodism” or spend a lot of time with anecdotes and humor.  When he uses anecdotes they are always to help clarify the Biblical truth he is pointing us to.  He actually teaches from Scripture!
And while “Willow Creek Iowa” has a huge collection of musicians playing for the service, we have only a piano, a keyboard and a bass playing, and sometimes the music leader will play his guitar at the same time.  Due to this horrid lack of musicians, we actually hear each other singing!
I hope your church is at least as “Bibley” as ours is.  Perhaps if there are enough like ours, the truth of God’s Word will reach more of the lost as well as build up the body of Christ.


Ron Livesay said...


I really like your new word, "Bibley." Wish I had thought of it. Thank the Lord for "Bibley" churches and "Bibley" pastors.

I have always believed that there is no substitute for teaching the Scriptures, and that is what I have practiced in my 20+ years of teaching adult Sunday school. All of the topical and "timely" and "relevant" material in the world cannot replace the teaching of the Word of God. As for me, I plan to remain "Bibley" in my approach.

I fugure if someone doesn't like the "Bibley" approach, they have come to the wrong church and the wrong Sunday school class.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

"Bibley" wasn't my word - that was the word our friend told us was used by the lady who was disappointed by our church. I told the story to our associate pastor and he said the disgruntled lady would probably only be happy in a Unitarian Church!

Yep, the Word of God should be the most important part of teaching in any church - and we all need to be as "Bibley" as possible.

072591 said...

This story intrigues me.

I understand what you mean, but did she explain what she meant by "Bibley"? That just sounds ... weird.

Diane1611 said...

The praise band at the Calvary Chapel we attend has a couple more musicians and an additional vocalist than your church has, but it's 100% "Bibley." We escaped one of those churches like your "Willow Creek Iowa." We like our "Bibley" church much better. :)

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well, the teaching last week was, as most of the time, exegetical. It was the first week of a series the pastor is doing on Romans. Very meaty, very interesting for those who want to know more about the Word. But it was all about the Bible.

Our friend said this lady thought it was "too Bibley," which, since I know what the teaching was, pretty much become self-explanatory for someone who has been attending a "seeker-sensitive" church.

Christian Ease said...

As an ex- worship leader, and being an old rocker I enjoyed the worship at our church. I quit. Despite pouring my heart out every week from what I received from God's word, I couldn't penetrate the feel good gospel appetite of my fellow brothers. I always assumed the feel good feeling came after repentance. I play by myself now in my studio. Waaa! It's too bad that these people are consumed with chasing the newest rage. As I always like to say ... when did the Bible quit being good enough?

EBenz said...

I wish there was a "Bibley" church in my area! Thank the Lord if you have one!

No One said...

Hey bro,

I like what you're up to so far. Just found you by "accident" today. So I'm adding you to the "book of armaments" at my blog www.dontaskthatinchurch.blogspot.com.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi No One,

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you find much of interest here.

I scanned over your site and will be following you now.