Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Why go to church? part 1
A couple came home from church, and as they were eating lunch, the
wife goes to her husband, "Did you see that awful dress
Catherine had on today?" He replied that he hadn't noticed.
"Did you notice how much that Jones kid was squirming around
during the sermon?" Again he hadn't noticed. "Did you
see how close that young Smith couple were sitting? They were all
over each other!" Her husband yet again replied with a "no."
His wife looked irritated. "Why do you even go to church if
you don't notice anything going on?!"
That is a
bit extreme, but I have been thinking about this lately. Why do we
go to church? Many churches have become not much more than
entertainment centers. You can find churches that have bookstores,
coffee shops, snack shops, even tattoo parlors. Is that why we go
to church? To browse a bookstore, grab a cup of coffee, get a
tattoo? Pews have been replaced with chairs that can be removed and the worship centers look more like a gym and the platform more like a stage.
There are churches that have big screens
scattered throughout, and you can watch the service while you have
a sandwich and some soup, or sit in an easy chair and chat with a
Song leaders have been replaced with worship leaders and praise bands. Hymnals with screens on the wall with the newest worship choruses, whether they have any "meat" in them or not.
Maybe I am too old fashioned, but I find the idea
of snack shops, bookstores,and coffee shops in the church a bit
much. And tattoo parlors... there are no words. Though I only know
of one church that has that.
I still like hymnals and prefer hymns over most praise choruses. I like a pew, though I prefer it to be padded.
There is a church that
tries to appeal more to men by having their worship area set up
like a camp. There are camp type benches or chairs, a minnow
bucket for the offering, and the walls are decorated with stuffed
heads of various animals.
I've known of people who
spend their lives skipping from church to church. They try to find
one with the perfect pastor, one that has all of the programs they
like and want to be involved in, one that is friendly, one that
has the right size of congregation, one that has the right kind of
music..... and they just keep searching.
will never find the right church. There are a few factors:
The perfect church does not exist
2) They are searching for
the wrong things in a church
3) They are the problem and
will never be satisfied.
And people quit churches
for the wrong reasons:
1) They don't get used enough. That
one always gets me. Most people who say that want jobs where
people can see them and they can pull their righteous robes around
them and say "look at me!" If it is just a matter of
being used, all they need to do is ask the pastor what they can do
to help around the church. He will find something, but it may not
be where they can be seen of men.
2) The church isn't
friendly. Even my church has cliques. I have had people say our
church is very friendly, and I have had people say it is not. So
who is correct?
My church has 3 sections of seating in our
worship sanctuary. People who regularly attend there tend to sit
in the same seat or area. Maybe the people saying the church isn't
friendly needs to move around a bit. And it isn't up to first time
visitors to reach out to people, but if you have been attending a
church for a while and still think it is unfriendly, try being
friendly and reach out to people.
3) The church is too big.
Of the church is too small. Well, if it is too small, your leaving
will make it worse. Try getting more people to come. Too big? If
that is your only reason to leave, it just isn't a good one.
The style of music isn't your thing.
My church uses a piano
and organ. In the evening service, we actually have an orchestra.
I think the only reason it doesn't play in the mornings also is
because they have a hard enough time getting people to play in the
evening. People play flutes, violins, clarinets, guitars, and
occasionally a trumpet will show up. The music is very low key and
is an accompaniment for the singing. And we sing hymns with an
occasional worship chorus thrown in.
I have been in
churches and services where the music was so loud that I could
hardly hear myself think. The louder the music got, the more
people got worked up. And I have wondered... if you took away the
music, would the people still be as excited? Would they still feel
something? And is the something they feel with that kind of music
God, or just emotion and the beat?
We have a great song
leader at my church, but he does one thing I don't care for. He
often has us sing a chorus or the last verse of a song acapella.
He feels it is more worshipful. I disagree 100%, but I dislike
acapella. But yet, I don't consider loud crash-bangy music
worshipful at all, and when I am in that, I can't wait til the
time of singing is done so I can think again and my headache will
Maybe it all comes down to personal taste,
but if the church is a good church and you are getting spiritually
fed there, I would be careful to change churches just because of
the music and worship style. That isn't why we are in church, just
(This post is getting too long, so I am continuing it in another post)