Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Servicable gods

The good ole Worship Service, staple diet of the church as we know it, the Sunday morning ritualistic event that crosses all denominations. It seems that no matter where you go, the style may be different, but at its heart it is a self perpetuating monster that gobbles up its participants. We are slaves to the religious machine, from Fundamental to Emergent, there is no escaping the slavery we have willingly become chained into...(more)


Meg said...

Calls to mind, ironically enough, the country western lyric, "It's almost like a song/but it's much too sad to write..." (Would that we'd at least, in our present distress over the state of church services, always be delivered from things even vaguely resembling the anything-but-winsome "Shine, Jesus, Shine!")

Shieldsy said...

Interesting. Thought provoking too, 'cause I can't quite decide what I think!

I think the idea that 'worship services'/'church' just happens 'spontaneusly' is a bit of a fallacy. Look at all the prep for OT worship. Even the Acts 2 church had to organise rotas for the food program.

Wherever more than a couple of people get together, some level of organisation is required. However we need to be constantly on our guard against worshipping the work of the Lord instead of the Lord of the work.

Dave said...

Oh no Meg, thats a Graham Kendrick dare you question it :)
actually thats okay, Kendrick is so 1980's, Stuart Townend is the new Kendrick.

Shieldsy, I think all the prep for the OT worship was partly due to the fact that God actually did reside in the tabernacle and the temple at various periods, also the temple was the central place of worship to which the pilgrims came to worship. We are now the temple of God.
The Acts 2 thing was a practical thing, an ongoing daily part of community life, we no longer get our food from the church, well unless you worship at Tesco's that is (another post altogether)
I know in our experience we seem to give the perception that some organisation has taken place when in fact very little has.
Somebody always makes the just happens...someone always brings food and we always have the right amount...someone always brings something of worship...I don't know how it works, but for the last ??? months it has worked without any stress and striving, just as you say in your last sentance, worshipping the Lord of the work.

Meg said...

Hey, Dave - whoa! We do live in two parallel universes! Here in the States, Ronnie Milsap did that song (educate me: who's Graham Kendrick?) and yes, I believe it was in the Eighties... Milsap is (was?) a C & W star here but I haven't heard much out of him lately.

BTW, how do you like all the hits on this site from the American Midwest?! The Lord meant for me to find this blogspot and let others here know about it - and I sure as shootin' have done it, much to those others' benefit and blessing, I might add.

Annette said...

"I know in our experience we seem to give the perception that some organisation has taken place when in fact very little has"

But surely that has to do with scale, With larger numbers of course organisation needs to put into place otherwise chaos is likely to occur and there's nothing glorifying about that. Tea rotas might not get a mention in scripture but serving one another in the menial tasks is just as important as being "up the front" When I prepare and set up for Toddler group, I often can spend longer doing this than the session actually runs, not because I'm insistent on it being perfect before people come in but because I want them to know that they are important, that the effort has been made for them and to help the smooth running of the session.

i'm against services being rigid but I do think that "everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way" 1 corinthians 14 v40

But then again i like "Shine, Jesus, Shine!"

Dave said...

I think in regard to scale or numbers then it can be important in some areas, toddler group, youth events, weddings etc do need more organisation.
Things like preaching are music are heart matters, it is the same preaching to 5 as 5000.

With regard rotas etc, my point was that when these things take priority over true religion, that which James speaks of, then we have a problem.
Also the sheer amount of time normally spent preparing for a one hour service can be extreme, and the sunday service is only a small part of the whole.

In regard the 1st Cor 14:40, Paul is speaking specifically about tongues and prophecy, and I agree with you that these should be done decently and in order. Verse 26 is interesting, for though verse 40 is often quoted, verse 26 rarely happens in practice.

"Shine, Jesus, Shine!" is okay, but not when sung as often as it used to be in the 80's and 90's...oh how I wish churches would sing more of their own are blessed for you have a songwriter in your midst. To be honest i don't think we have sung for about 3 months...note to me, lets sing this week!!!

Meg said...

(My last post sounded self-serving, although I don't think I meant it that way. Sorry. Can I retract its tone? :>) - I regret any offense...

All praise and glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!)

Shieldsy said...

"Things like preaching and music are heart matters, it is the same preaching to 5 as 5000."

Yes & No! Yes ... the message should be the same (but even then I'd say you need to 'tailor' it slightly differently). No ... the style needs to be different.

Am interested to discover that you haven't had any corporate singing in your services. Music is an incredibly powerful aide to worship but it does often become the focus (increasingly even more so than the preach). As a bloke(!) find it hard to get into a lot of these mushy love songs that seem to dominate most musical worship. You probably know the story behind the writing of Mat Redmans "I'm getting back to the heart of worship". If not, it's worth reading!

Dave said...

Yes & No! Yes ... the message should be the same (but even then I'd say you need to 'tailor' it slightly differently). No ... the style needs to be different.

Interested to know it what way the style needs to be different. We can observe jesus preaching and see that the message is reaching the hearts of the people he is speaking to, likewise Pauls messages are relevant to the communities he speaks to Galatia and living by the Spirit, Corinth and working in love etc.
When we preach in church on Sunday morning then we are preaching to the converted, we are not expecting unbelievers to be there (or are we).

With all that said, the preparation for preaching the kingdom in whatever style, is the same, we do not need extensive hours of bible study and illustrations and info to prepare what we preach.

As for the singing...its a strange one, I have not in anyway thought 'okay lets not sing for 3 months' and if anyone in the fellowship wants to then we can sing at any point. I still sing daily in one way or another, mainly the Psalms. I have found that when the music fades in most churches the people stop singing.

I have read the Matt Redman thing, and I love how that is what the Spirit spoke to them and the response was great, yet so many others picked up on that song and just sang it. Filling it full of instruments etc, the music did anything but fade.

What I am saying is 'for Redman, the Spirit gave rise to a heartfelt song', for others though, 'it is hoped that a heartfelt song will give rise to the Spirit'


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