>Ok, everyone from RUMC don’t panic with the title of this post! My tongue is firmly planted into my cheek on this one, but that is the thought that ran through my head when I read a little one page article in the February 6 issue of The Christian Century (yea, yea … two posts in a row that reference CC – contrary to what the gentle reader may think, I do read other stuff … I am just catching up on back issues of this magazine!).

But back to the point – James Choate-Munitz wrote about “The Submergent Church.” As I read it, I actually thought it might be a joke, but the “gottcha!” punchline never came. The story begins as pastor Bunglebottom (isn’t he one of the characters in Harry Potter? – I’m really not making this stuff up folks) grabs a cold beer and a bag of potato chips to start his work day watching “Dancing with the Stars” from his lounge chair at home. How does that sound for a hardy work ethic? Further on, one discovers that pastor Bunglebottom works only about an hour and a half each week for his full time salary, and that includes his commute time to and from “The Master’s Playhouse” in Toledo, the name of the church he pastors.

One hour and a half. So this is the guy I’ve been looking for. He is the stuff of legend. He is the reason every other pastor in the world has to endure the old “don’t you work just one hour a week(?)” line. Nice to meet you Bunglebottom.

So some of you may be wondering about worship? Not sure I would call it that, but according to Choate-Munitz it never lasts over 15 minutes. Have a hard time picturing worship in 15 minutes? That part is laid out as well:

“Most Submergent congregations have great sound systems and will listen to a praise song on CD. Then, if they can find a Bible, someone might read something. After that, the pastor will say what’s on his mind. Then they go home.”

For the rest of his busy week, Bunglebottom “farms out all administrative work to contractors” which only leaves the question about what they do, since apart from the 15 minute service each week, there are no other activities.

Sound ridiculous? Maybe so, but get this – The congregation generates so much revenue from from its weekly offering that the church could purchase and completely renovate – with cash – a historic downtown Toledo theater.

Guess that is what the rest of us are doing wrong. Would somebody hand me a cold one and pass the chips this way? I’m ready to go to work.

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