Churches sometimes divide over music. One church divided over the lack of a musical instrument.
It seems this particular church had no musical instruments to accompany the singing in the worship service. Some members suggested getting a piano. It came up for a vote at the next business meeting. After much discussion, the matter was put to a vote. About half of the membership voted “No,” since they had always been worshiping without a piano, thus killing the idea. Or so they thought.
The pro-piano half of the congregation decided on another strategy. They bought a piano on their own with the expectation that the others would fall in line once they saw how it could help the singing. The next Sunday, however, did not meet their expectations. The anti-piano half were outraged and said they would not come back to church if the piano was even there, let alone played.
The following week was filled with a great deal of verbal back-stabbing over this issue in the community. In anticipation of what would happen, attendance was larger than usual the following Sunday in church. To everyone’s surprise, the piano was gone! The pro-piano portion of the congregation was appalled that the opposing group would do such a thing, but the anti-piano people vehemently denied that they had done anything with the instrument. The whole church was in an uproar.
After six months, the piano was discovered. It had not been removed from the church at all. It was in the baptistry, which has not been used in all that time, either.
(Strange as this story sounds, Gerald Daniel of Clinton, Miss., assures me that this actually happened somewhere in the United States of America.)
Many churches need to go back and read the Great Commission that Jesus gave the first Christians: “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19, NIV). Churches that keep their focus on evangelism do not get sidetracked with issues like the position of the piano or the color of the carpet. Put another way, when you keep your baptistry wet, you don’t lose your piano in it.
Copyright 2007 by Bob Rogers. Read this column each Thursday for a mix of religion and humor. You can read more “Holy Humor” at www.fbcrincon.com.