GASTONIA, NC — A local church found a new surge in popularity after making the revolutionary decision to forego its normal attempts to appeal to the masses and instead just start teaching the Bible.
"I don't know why we didn't think of this before," said Steve Borden, lead pastor at Abundant River of Faith and Life. "We've done all the other stuff for years — carnivals, classic car shows, sermon series built around clips from popular movies — but it turns out what people actually need in their lives is to hear God's Word. Who would've thought?"
The church had struggled to bring people through the doors on Sunday mornings for the last decade, resorting to revamping its presentation with fog machines, theatrical staging, lighting worthy of a touring rock band, gourmet espresso drinks, and trendy, topical, life-improvement messages. "We thought that would really help us draw new people," Pastor Borden said. "All that ended up happening was filling the building with a bunch of people who loved coffee and free daycare for their kids."
Things changed when one humble congregant (who requested to remain anonymous) suggested the pastoral staff begin just teaching lessons from the Bible itself. "It was a night and day difference," Borden said. "We actually started seeing people's lives change, as if preaching from the Bible has some kind of divine power to really reach a person's heart. They didn't teach me this in seminary. Wild stuff!"
At publishing time, the church was reportedly considering doing away with its rock concert-style worship presentation and singing hymns, with the idea that people may actually praise God better when the songs they sing are theologically sound.
It's a serious medical emergency: you're minding your own business when you hear an opinion you slightly disagree with.