Last week I went to an in-service for clergy concerning communicating with people who have acquired communicative impairments. I know the in-service was advertised to 90 different ministers in the Point area and I know that I personally sent word to 10 local ministers I know and respect. It was an excellent in-service that I found very helpful. I did, however, find the attendance interesting.
There were 13 of us at the in-service. I was the lone Baptist. There was a United Methodist, and 11 Evangelical Lutherans (ELCA). While my ELCA friends have “evangelical” in their name I don’t think that many of them (Anne & Ben S. please correct me if I am wrong on this) would claim that they would fit in the Evangelical subculture as it is defined in our present culture (i.e. basically theological and socially conservative, which I would fit into). United Methodists vary all over the spectrum so I’ll not make an assumption with her. I point out my assumptions on whether or not these individual ministers were Evangelical or not (and I acknowledge that they are nothing more than my assumptions of whether someone is Evangelical or not) because I would like to point out something that I think is a tendency among Evangelicals and that is that I believe we tend to do our own things and ignore everything else. In other words, I believe that if this had been a specifically Evangelical group, sponsored by a local Evangelical church, that more Evangelical ministers would have found time in their schedules to make the in-service a priority. Where as, I believe we tend to ignore things that are non-Evangelical in their nature.
Now I’m not calling out the ministers in the Point area because I know most of them and therefore I know they missed for very good reasons. I am sure the ones that didn’t come did so because they were very busy, had already dealt with ways to make sure they communicate effectively with people with acquired communicative disorders, or had other pressing matters. I know one who was planning on being there but was so thrown off by the snow of Tuesday that her schedule would no longer allow her to be at the in-service. I’ve seen the Evangelicals in the Point area in the name of Christ reach out and help those on the margins of society. It is just that it appears to me that we Evangelicals often do a better job of doing this when it is our thing rather than joining others in something good that is already happening. I’m not sure how nice we play with those outside of our Evangelical tribe. I’m not even real sure how well we play with those in our tribe. Seems to me that we are real good at inviting others to join us and not as good as joining others when they invite us. This post isn’t about ministers in the Point area. Instead, this post is just me wondering if this is an Evangelical tendency or not. Have others noticed this? Or am I just reading too much into my own experiences.
Maybe I am wrong. It just seemed odd to me that I was probably the only Evangelical in the room for a clergy in-service that was about helping us to communicate, and thereby share the message of Christ, with those who have communication impairments. Thinking that was odd got me to thinking about the bigger picture and had me wondering if it was a tendency within Evangelicalism on a whole.
If you noticed that their weren’t any Roman Catholics mention in attendance you would be correct. I`m not Roman Catholic though so I don’t have much to say about that circumstance.