Skip to comments.Should Church Be Exciting?
Posted on 01/13/2018 10:03:11 PM PST by tiredofallofit
One of my favorite places to sit and work is Panera Bread. No, this is not a plug for Panera Bread! Its just that I enjoy the atmosphere something about it helps me to complete my tasks more efficiently. I can sit in a booth for hours and lose myself in my work despite the noise around me.
But once in awhile I will tune into that noise and pick up on some interesting conversations. Especially about church. Sometimes there will be a pastor sitting nearby talking about church matters with a staff member. More often than not, however, I will just hear people complaining about their church. And usually, they are complaining about the worship service or the pastors sermons. How the service does not conform to their tastes. Or how they wish the music was different or the sermon was more interesting.
This got me thinking about what people expect from their churches and how they might be easily disappointed. The church experience is supposed to be a time of worship and communion yet how many American Christians expect to see a show on Sunday mornings? And how many churches try to oblige this wish by creating a production as opposed to a genuine worship service? Unfortunately, I have been in plenty of churches where I felt like I was more of a TV show prop than a congregant.
Years ago, I attended a church that offered a popular contemporary music service complete with a shiny reflective wooden floor, spotlights that changed color, stage fog, and large screens on either side of the stage on which were projected lyrics and closeups of the worship leaders. It was a loud experience; I could never hear myself singing. I could never tell if anyone around me was singing either. But there was a certain energy in the room that built up as the worship service proceeded. People raised their arms and their bodies drifted back and forth. And then just when the emotion in the room seemed to reach a high point, the music would stop and the pastor would run onto the stage with a Starbucks mug in his hand. He would tell a few jokes and begin the sermon, hoping I suppose to benefit from the positive energy that had been created by the worship.
Thirty to forty-five minutes later, when the service was over, I always felt somewhat drained and disappointed. The emotional high was gone and in its place was an emptiness that made me question if this was really all there was to the worship experience.
If making church “exciting” is the only way to get some people to go then the answer is yes.
This is what turns off many Christians That want to go to church for worship and instead get a fast food, watered down, telling people what they want to hear in order to not offend them type of experience. I will say back in the mid 90s when I was in my mid 20s, I wanted to seek out a church after I spent time reading the bible on my own and finding God as real as I had ever known or experienced as a child growing up in Catholic church. After I had this new realization about God I felt it would be important to have a place to worship and to be around other like minded believers. I met a friend and they recommended this church I had never heard of. We were to meet that Sunday. I never saw my friend there but I had a great time despite no idea what to expect. It was a high energy praise and worship which in itself was foreign to me as all I ever experienced was Catholic services. After being there for a few years I started feeling that this was becoming mundane and after doing research on what our pastor was teaching it was the name it and claim it and prosperity messages which is part of the word-faith movement which is basically a cult and not of God. Fast forward to today and most of the churches are like this now.
I wrote the below words in 1969, but they really paraphrase those found in the first volume of A History of the Expansion of Christianity by Kenneth Scott Lattourette, who was a Linfield graduate. The worship portion provides me an opportunity to pray to or talk about the Lord. When the sermon comes I listen for pieces that can be of value next week. I cant appreciate loud and vigorous worship services, because then I tend to just listen.
The institution of the Christian Church was designed to act as an outpost of heaven within the finite, fallen world. Christian travelers could secure an anchor in Jesus spiritual dimension with praise, prayer, and wisdom as they climbed with a fragile, broken soul through a perishing creation into eternity. Yet all Christian institutions are subject to failing as human pride naturally aligns with the heritage of fallen humanity.
Church is to get Bible teaching and fellowship.
It is fine to do what is needed to make services engaging as long as the message stays true, strong, and uncompromising.
You could try “The Talk Show Hell Hates” with Pastor Mike Hoggard — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LrXb4VfLpM
That’s at Bethel Church in Festus Missouri
Or a “BaptiCostal” Mass Deliverance Service by Win Worley
Here is part 1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsVLs89YkVA
But in part 2 about minute 11, the demonic manifestations begin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVG3ow2-MR0
At minute 13:15 the spirit of Karate shows up: Very lively.
Maybe spiritual deliverance services would cure the boredom...
The most important thing, is that the church follows the actual Word of God. And some can make that message exciting.
I lost it when he called out “spirits of hemorrhoids”. Lol. That’s a meeting ender IMO.
It’s so obvious that groups can be manipulated by suggestion and with enough goading can be worked into a lather.
If people are running away from your church blog, it may be because you need to flesh out your thesis more, and close less abruptly, tying it all together with a more coherent conclusion.
For me the congregation has to be friendly not standoffish clicks, the pastor’s message hold my attention and touch on the full Word of God over the course of the year, you should learn and understand the context of the passage, and music be uplifting and fill your heart with God’s love. Where the Holy Spirit or Ghost is taught and his role in your life is taught and the peace He brings into your every day life. Where you leave the service feeling refreshed, fed on God’s word, to sustain you for the coming week.
Nor is the focus on one generation, as church as a body has to serve it’s members from cradle to grave. Today’s churches are focused on the youth, and totally ignore their senior members while asking more out of them money wise and time wise to provide activities for the youth. The Holy Spirit is only given lip service. Praise hymns that don’t have a message with a bone thrown a couple times a year to the old songs that are and still serve a purpose of uplifting and have a message in them. Now its about choirs and contest for music. No more just singing from the hymn book by the congregation, they removde for the most part that experience. Where even those with no or little talent can sing God’s praise.
There is more than Peace, Love and Give; End Times and understanding of Revelations has to have a place so Christians know to stay the course and stay ready and go forth and spread the message, live as we are taught to live, that Christ will return and Rapture His Church when God deems the time right. God’s time is not our time, and He always answer’s prayer, in His time, His way which may not be the answer we want, but God answer is always right.
You are correct it’s become fast food, not the feast that feeds the soul.
We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, and that would include prayer and worship, but what the pastor’s job is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
The productions today make people feel really good, but are they actually worship, or just an emotional high.
Do people even know that we can worship God in everything we do, where ever we are?
We should not be going to church for our weekly *fix* for what we can get out of it. We should go expecting to hear from God and to be further equipped for the work of the ministry.
I guess it’s news to many that it’s not just the pastor’s job to minister to people, visit the sick, those in prison, feed the hungry, help those who are struggling financially, etc.
Doesn’t need extra “glitz” but making it boring and depressing serves no useful purpose. Animated discussion on the Word as it is in the Bible can be interesting as well as fostering the Word....
I remember the first time I went to a Protestant service. It was like a rock concert. I was mystified. I felt like any minute people would whip out their bic lighters.
The best ever: Traditional Latin Mass. There is no doubt that it is 100% about God, and 0% about the people in attendance.
I can get that at home with my Christian wife, and at a local diner with a couple of my Christian brothers.
I don't need some fancy-pants glamour-boy and the Rockettes Choir to have fellowship with God. In fact, my walk with God is closer than ever after we stopped going.
"The Church in America is a mile wide and an inch deep." -P.D. Wang, Chinese evangelist
A particular type of exciting. Not simply the popular variety.
“Church is to get Bible teaching and fellowship.”
No, Church is to worship. Bible teaching is imbued in it -
the worship, that is - and fellowship derives from it.
My sainted mother used to say that if you needed to entertain people to get them to church their being there didnt mean much. My greatest church experience was not in some mega church extravaganza, but in a small monastery in France where the daily mass was chanted in simple plain song
Didn’t you know that Pastor Worley was an English teacher?
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