Our Voice

After working well for many years, it seems my early last fall flu shot had a shelf life of slightly less than last week. Bad news is that it was bad; the “have to get better to die” kind of bad. Good news is the virus has run its course. The bad news is that my doc says the accompanying laryngitis can linger up to four weeks. The good news – I only have three weeks to go.

Yep, your occasionally vocally-challenged pastor is at it again. I have been ordered wordless for a few days while waiting for time and an odd collection of magical elixirs to do their thing. So while we will be a week late getting to the “These Three Things” finish line, I’m thinking there may be a correlation between the last installment “Let’s All Love on St. Pete” and my scratchy tone and tenor. See if you agree.

A few years ago churches in big cities began to cash in the need for tall but invisible cell towers. Turns out steeples are good spots for that kind of thing, some fetching over 30 grand a year rental space. So even in the hours the faithful are nowhere in sight, the church is sending out a signal in the clear, understandable voice to the communities they serve.

Here’s the thing. Churches are always sending out messages to the people around them. Sadly, some are hurtful, not at all reflecting the character of our Christ. Others just give testimony to irrelevance, politely suggesting passersby keep passing by. “All Are Welcome” signs are usually a cover for the reality that not everyone is. There are lots of not-so great voices coming out of congregations, and chances are you know them when you hear them. I promise you the un-and-under churched folks do.

The good news is that if a local church leads with love and a dose of humility, folks will be attuned to that too. We then can speak truth into a world that has forgotten what it is, and some will have ears to hear. We can whisper comfort and encouragement to folks short on both, and a portion will thankfully listen. We can find and cast a voice that is engaging, inviting, and authentically loving and caring. Use that one enough and whole city may come to hear us, Better yet, believe us.

That’s just the kind of thing I think about on days I’m forced not top talk. I guess there is something worse than a pastor without much of a voice.

It’s the church without one, or one it probably shouldn’t want. So, yes, we are going to talk about our voice Sunday; assuming I can find my own.