To worship G-d?
To have community?
To convert people G-d, save them from sin, etc, etc, etc?
All of the above?
You argue that “i want a church who is open minded yet not following the trend of the generation” and I agree.
But shouldn’t we be taking this one step further by saying that we should not be following the trend but in fact setting the trend?
If the purpose of church is just to worship G-d, then should we throw out the teaching and just have a giant two hour worship session? I would sure love it, but is the fact that we don’t do that on a regular basis suggestion that church is more than that?
If community is achieved through church then what is the purpose of small groups? Are small groups just an admission that most churches have become too large and the small group is a simple solution to keeping the masses happy? So is community really the purpose of church?
If it is to convert people to G-d then how successful are we at that?
What is the church offering that is any better than they can get at their local dance club on a Friday night, or at the opera performance at the town hall on the Saturday night?
You see the church is not one thing, or a static body. But rather it is meant to be a dynamic organism, with many people making up its various parts, performing many services with Christ at the core.
But what happens when the arm wants to go to the left and the leg wants to go to the right?
Is that grounds for splitting the church into two and getting yet another breakaway church?
Is there one true church? Is it the Roman Catholic Church, or Christian City Church?
Is G-d in the drums, or in the soft melody of a grand piano?
Does G-d reside in the building, or in the body of believers in the building?
I believe that the church should be on the forefront of everything.
For too long the church has lagged behind, has resisted, and as a result in this post-modern world has ended up being a relic of the unenlightened past.
So is it time for another enlightenment?
I think so.
No longer can we sit back and rely on advertising and word of mouth for getting people to attend on Sunday.
No longer can we be just another social service.
No longer can we resist the constantly changing world.
The world is not flat, yet many churches still act like the wheel has yet to be invented.
For the church to have relevance it must be different.
And not different because it is boring, but different because it must be radical different.
We need to bring back some witch trials…. That set us apart. (just joking).
No, what we need to be is on the forefront of the new media.
Take blogs for instance. What an opportunity missed.
Blogs have quickly turned into a mass media entity, but were founded in political commentary, and that is the focus of many still today.
What about viral videos… already taken, with people typically doing silly stuff.
You see as much as we don’t want to mindlessly following the next trend that comes along, we are not even that good, we are still stuck in the 1500s when it is the 2100s.
And yes I did just write 2100, we need a 2100 hundred mindset.
What is wrong with a bit of experimentation at church?
What is wrong with a bit of hip-hop thrown in the mix?
At the end of the day G-d gave us these talents and these abilities to use, so why are we not using the gifts that we have been given, why are we doubting and questioning everything?
And this brings me to music.
Oh music, probably one of the most controversial topics within church communities.
No you cannot possibly have an electric guitar, electric guitars are evil because they require electricity, and electricity is scary stuff, it involves science, and science is evil (just ask Galileo)
You know what. I want to see a turntable used in church. With the Westminster Abbey Boy Choir’s version of How Great Thou Art scratched up a little.
Why? Because I can. Because if it can get people in the door and worshiping G-d then it must be good?
Well not exactly.
But it is different. And we need that point of difference.
You see at the moment the church may be living, but it is not breathing, it is in the rest home on life support.
And while we continue to play the funeral marches every Sunday morning then it will get just that little bit closer to death. Jesus may have risen, but when will the church awaken?
You see this is what gets my back up the most.
Jesus was not this holier that thou person who 2000 years ago showed up to the local synagogue in a Gucci Suit, driving a Mercedes Donkey M5, and the value of his 20,000 sheep was known throughout the land.
In fact it was the opposite, born in a manger, not a nice clean little straw bed but a pigs-sty (maybe that can be the next excuse for my room looking like one, my room is just having the Jesus experience, amen).
He did not own many possessions in fact he advocated in a minimalist lifestyle, selling what you have, and serving the poor.
He wasn’t afraid to get his feet a little dirty, and a little dusty, but these days we must always wear our Sunday best, and mud well urgh.
He was the friend of tax-collectors, and prostitutes, something that even today we continue to have issues with.
He loved these people, but all we can seem to do today is hate on them.
The church is more known for spreading a message of labeling people sinners, rather than children of G-d, or people who G-d loves.
The key thing was Jesus was not afraid to be different, on the edge, and ruffle a few feathers, he certainly was not old and boring.
But today even the notion of adding a more upbeat song to the mix (or adding a slower song at some churches) will put half the church into revolt.
The church appears to be more concerned with closing the doors on the world from Monday to Saturday and opening them up for two hours on a Sunday to let people in, never to let the warmth of G-d’s love out (it may catch a cold).
And what gets me most is perfectionism.
G-d is perfect, and only G-d can make things perfect.
The church today is too concerned with putting on the correct face, for trying to make itself look like it is one notch above the rest.
Surely the church should be a place that is one notch below, full of people who are on the outside broken, but on the inside healed by G-d.
And that healing that starts on the inside can then begin to thaw the frozen outside.
Surely the purpose of church is to be a city on a hill.
A city not a building, letting light, warmth, and love out.
A point of difference in a darkened world.
Not just a building covered with so much dust that the light inside cannot escape.
And that leads onto the next topic what does a city on a hill look like?
To be continued….