So, my wife and I went to visit a gathering of believers at a [church] building last night. 🙂
We arrived about fifteen minutes early, went on in to the chapel, and watched as the worship [entertainment] team finished their practicing. 🙂
I noticed the room is much like many others I have seen in the past.
A platform with podium, lots of lighting pointed towards it, a drum set behind a plexiglass wall, a keyboard, a couple of music stands, and microphones with stands. Pews all facing the front and a sound booth set behind them with three seats.
As we waited other folks began to arrive and we were greeted by a few of them with the usual perfunctory questions and statements, for example; ‘glad you could join us tonight’, ‘is this your first time here?’, ‘could you fill out this contact form for us?’, and so forth. They were cordial and polite the way others have been at different places we have visited.
The service began just like I expected.
Someone on the platform asked everyone to stand and join in to worship. Of course they used a projector to show the words of the songs with beautiful scenery too.
While this was happening I wanted to observe people to see what they did during this time. What I saw was some were trying to sing while the majority did not join in singing, (whether because they did not know the songs or what I don’t know), but there was much talking among different individuals, a lot of looking around, etc.
Then the collection plates were passed while another song was sung and then everyone sat down.
A young man comes to the podium and begins talking.
He uses Genesis 32:22-31, where Jacob wrestles with the Lord, as the springboard for his spiel.
I learn during his speaking these things. At least these are the ones that stood out to me.
1 – The young man is evidently the ‘youth pastor’.
2 – The group does not have a ‘pastor’, they feel leaderless, and are praying that God sends the right ‘man’ to be their ‘leader’.
3 – He informs the group that he tells the young people they need to connect with God every time they ‘come to church’ and then notes that everyone should do this. [This seemed to be the main point he was trying make.]
4 – They have a calendar of events which includes bimonthly Saturday visitation to invite people in the adjoining neighborhoods to ‘come to church’.
I guess my thoughts on this experience, in no particular order, are these.
* There seemed to be no joy. Just a going through the motions of obligatory attendance and ritual.
* There seemed to be several folks at the gathering who would be considered ‘elders’. There should not be one individual as ‘leader’.
*If the pattern of the New Testament church were to be followed then these folks should not feel leaderless. The elders would be exhorting and encouraging all to function as a body with Christ as the leader and the Ho;y Spirit enabling each one to use the gifts from him. [1Corinthians 12 – 14] Giving Jesus the position He deserves, worshipping Him, praising Him, and entreating Him together.
*The ‘connecting with God’ is an everyday occurence not just when we gather together.
*We are to be the church every day, we should allow Christ to use us to bring and invite people to Him not a building.
I wonder how can I get these thoughts of mine to these people and others like them?
Anyone have a comment ?