The conversation is continuing on whether or not its a good idea/practice to publish sermon titles/topics/themes. The most recent comments are on the Ten Minutes or Less blog. I’ve been reading the comments with interest, mainly because I’m still trying to not let my judgemental side go completely biserk and write a rant that would cause me to lose all my friends. Plus, some people I really respect think it’s a good idea, so I’m more inclined to stay a part of the debate. But I have to tell ya…it’s becoming harder and harder to do.
So while I was reading the comments a little while ago…it came to me…of course lots of UUs are for publishing sermon titles…upper-middle and upper class educated people always want to know the title of the lecture they are attending…whether it’s at the local church or the art museum or college.
This, my friends, is a class issue.
But this is also about programming, and that’s something I hadn’t really given as much attention to as I should have. Yeah…I’ve talked about the fact that if you look at the churches that are really growing, one common denominator is that they have lots of MINISTRIES. What I haven’t really talked about is the fact that these churches offer something BEYOND Sunday. They are, to steal the title of Lyle Schaller’s book, Seven-Day-A-Week churches.
So…if all you have is Sunday; which, let’s be honest, is what the vast majority of UU churches have…the debate is going to be about whether or not to publish sermon titles/topics/themes. If….I repeat IF…more UU churches were seven-day-a-week places… if…I repeat IF…more UU churches offered programs for EVERYBODY (not just those who are looking for religious education for their children)…if…I repeat IF…more UU churches presented themselves as vibrant and welcoming places who really wanted all different kinds of people to be a part of them…then publishing sermon titles would be unnecessary…your fruit would be visible to the outside world.