Update on the New Axe and Stuff

I have now officially broken in the new Taylor, as I rehearsed with it on Wednesday night and used it yesterday morning in both services. One piece of bad news....well not really bad, just kind of awkward news, was that I broke a string on the 3rd song of the first service. I am blaming it on the fact that the guitar traveled across the country with those strings, so they were probably a bit worn out. However, despite the minor snare, the guitar is dandy....it sounds fantastic and plays like a dream. I really do like the new pickup system at least so far, but know that it will take some time, attention, and some tweaking to get the sound just right.

Now for some further ponderings. I'd love to get some comments and feedback on this one if you care.....but do you ever feel like the way in which we attempt to express worship in the context of the normal Sunday church setting is a bit forced? I mean, is it really natural to go to a building of what turns out to be near strangers (due in large part to the lack of during-the-week-interaction by the same group of people) and attempt to pour our deepest affection to God? I mean, don't get me wrong, I think music is one of the best ways to communicate love, emotion, commitment, and overall worship to God. I believe the Bible commands us to use music in worship. The psalmist declares "Sing to the Lord you saints of his; praise his holy name." (Psalm 30:4). Paul also encourages the use of music by saying in Ephesians 5:19 "Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord. and in Colossians 3:16"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

However, I am afraid our context is drastically different from the context in which Paul is writing. I think the church has become something despairingly different than what it was in the early first century, and I am afraid that it is pitifully far from what God intended. So week by week we gather together in a place, some of us because we genuinely desire to worship God in Spirit and in Truth and in unity with other believers. Meanwhile, many others are there for a multitude of reasons; to see and be seen; to make themselves feel better; to check off a box of "things to do"....most of whom (here goes the stereotype) look like they'd rather be anywhere else but here, and few others still who are pretending to love God so that their reputation stays in tact. Again, don't get me wrong, I know that many are there for all the right reasons, and we all sometimes do things for wrong reasons.....all of us are guilty of selfish motivations.

But I just wonder if we should really just step back and take a good hard look at this thing we call church, specifically in the area in which I serve. I love what I do to an extent, because it involves music. But so many times I feel like this is futile....a chasing after the wind to borrow Solomon's thought.

I've probably blogged about this subject before, and perhaps you are getting sick of hearing about it. It's just that when I knew I was called to ministry, and I began this journey, I expected so much more. And I have a sneaky feeling God expects so much more. Meanwhile, we continue our routine, accomplishing a momentary good-feeling that lasts all of 45 seconds after the closing prayer, and then we turn around, walk away from the group of strangers we try to pass off as a community of believers and await another week of the same old stuff.......not so sure this is really Christ's idea of church!

Your thoughts?

2 comments:

I have seen churches that look like what you are describing. That is part of the reason I could never be a part of a large church. One such church is Southside Baptist in Warner Robins. It is a humongous church with an insanely large facility. There is no way those people feel any sense of community or family. The aggravating thing is this large facility cost them $1mil or so to build, they just paid it off (says an inside source that I know) and guess what? They're about to start building a larger one and letting the current one be the "youth building". That's just bad stewardship. Sorry.

I think large churches when they reach a certain size should consider planting new churches in other towns or in other parts of the same town. Expand their influence not hoard their talents.

Christ Chapel in Macon has grown to a large church and recently they opened a new location in Warner Robins (called Christ Chapel of Warner Robins). That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

I have my issues with Evergreen but the one thing I can say is I do not feel like they are strangers.

March 10, 2008 at 11:11 AM  

In answering the question "what is wrong with worship", I think we need to get to a bigger question of why we worship in the first place. Why do we gather and "attempt to pour our deepest affection to God"? I will offer up this two-fold answer: (1) because we have a revelation from the transcendent, creator God of the universe that lets us know Him and (2) because through this revelation from Him we have obtained a saving knowledge of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross to forgive us of our sins. Scripture testifies that those who truly stood in awe of these two statements rightly worshiped Him. I don't see how worship can be fake or forced when we rightly understand the wrath of God toward sin and from that which we have been saved.

I think that is where the task for us who minister in the church (specifically for our worship leaders) must begin. First and foremost, it must affect us. Once that has happened, we must faithfully teach the truth of God. Point our people to the 'why' and call for response. That is what worship ultimately is: a response to the revelation of God to mankind.

As we mature spiritually so too our worship. It takes time. We must be dedicated to the task God has given us.

March 11, 2008 at 8:51 AM  

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