I did not attend my church today. I am visiting my Daughter and Son-in-law on the East Coast. We went to church with them this morning. On the way out of the parking lot, I remarked that going to their church was like going to the movies. Here’s why:
In the last one hundred years, styles and forms and methods of worshiping the true God have changed dramatically. Yet every Sunday, God is worshiped in as many ways as there are gatherings, as many forms as there are people who believe. This morning’s worship service was not exactly the same as I am used to. In some ways I missed my church, but in greater ways, I was thrilled to be worshiping with a body of believers just as much in love with Jesus as mine is!
I learned again this morning that God does not want my church to be more like my daughter’s church, or more like Bill Hybel’s church, or your church – He wants us to be us, to worship him, to be ourselves, and to celebrate the gifts and distinctions he has put in our church family. Whenever we compare, we lose. We lose sight of what God has made us to be and wants us to do as a church.
Yeah, it was a little like going to the movies, except that it wasn’t. It was meaningful, worth going to, inspirational, and encouraging. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I loved what I found.
In this week’s 200churches Podcast, we talk about our fantasy church service. The service we all want – the perfect service – the “10”! We talk about those fantasy expectations we have, that we sometimes mistakenly line up against what really happens. Then, we talk about expectations for our worship services that we can all actually reach and realize.
My daughter’s church is a 200church, if you only count one service, and if you only count one of the locations. Which I am, because I could not be in more than one service or one location at a time! No matter the size of your church, you can experience tremendous times of worship together, and that is what we are going to talk about the rest of this week.
Have you visited a church recently for the first time? What was your experience?
4/22/2013 09:28:35 am
I've had the same experience several times this spring visiting several different churches around the country. Not good, or bad...just different. It's good to get out. It makes you appreciate what you have at home and the body of believers God has placed you in.
4/23/2013 12:31:25 am
I think the worship experience, much like a good movie, shoulld draw the partipant in and make an emotional connection. Lighting, music, ambience all contribute to the extent that we are drawn into a place of emotional worship. But the underlying foundation has got to be the realtionships in the church body. The realtonships with each other and with Christ. Without that foundation everything else will be 'trappings'. Our church has that foundation and I bleieve is in a place where the corporate worship expereince is growing in it's ability to draw us more fully into worship, like a good movie. Creating atmosphere with lighting and beautiful contemporary music is an opportunity to draw us closer to each other and God through a more emotional submersion into worship. I'm blessed and grateful to be part of a body who truly care for each other and who are willing to explore different ways of worshipping.
4/30/2013 09:13:38 am
fog machines aren't very expensive
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