How Church Works…

How church works…

I know I’m letting you in on trade secrets, but somebody has to blow the whistle…


12 thoughts on “How Church Works…

  1. Loved this. Also, might have easily been made about my church in Boston. Which I love. But still.

  2. Oh my, am I laughing out loud!! We did this LAST Sunday (and I’m in the music ministry at our church!). There was the loud, beaty, drum-driven opener, the “new song” even I haven’t heard before, and the song from the radio! Needless to say, i don’t like singing the song I don’t know – impossible! We didn’t have a closing one – PTL!

    I have to say it was one of the best Sundays I’ve had too! Great sermon!!

  3. Jeff and I have been talking a lot about this lately! How every Sunday morning seems to HAVE to stick with a strict structural format, and how we long to do something different. I mean, totally different!
    What if we had a church service that looked more like the house churches in the New Testament, where Paul’s instructions really were followed from 1Cor 14? For instance, “And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.” Ha! Would mayhem result? How do we “schedule out” the Holy Spirit from our services because we’ve planned every blasted minute?
    I know there needs to be order, but really… is there an alternative to having “church in a box”?

  4. Hey Vonnie,

    Have you considered checking out the mennonites or the quakers. That is, in a way, how they roll.

    Also, I wonder if this is protestant evangelicals waking up to the fact that, even if you don’t have an explicit liturgy, church ritual will ALWAYS structure itself as an implicit liturgy.

    My feeling? Why not, instead of constantly running from it, turn into it and embrace the rich, diverse history of ritual and liturgy from our shared tradition?

    As much as I find the Orthodox Church’s chronological snobbery frustrating (our liturgy is 1500 years old and we haven’t changed it much, so it must be the REAL liturgy!), the lie that evangelicals tell themselves (we’re doing something free from those horrible shackles of tradition and ritual!!) is probably just as silly.

  5. You make some excellent points, Jonathan! As my husband just said, when you have a large number of people gathering together, there must be some structure to follow or else order is impossible to maintain. It just seems that it would be great to have structure without a rigid agenda.

  6. Bill,
    Went to one of my closest friend’s son’s first communion (They’re Catholic, and even though I really disagree with most of Catholicism, I love him like a brother). The service was their “spirit filled’ service. They did the worst version of “How Great is thy God” I have ever heard, as well as a poor version of “Step by Step”. Now if they could only copy the true way to Salvation? Nice to know Catholics are cribbing notes from Evangelicals on this.

  7. OK, finally got on a computer w/sound to watch the video. I am still laughing.

    I’ve been at NCR for 18 years and have seen a lot of changes, while at the same time nothing much changes. Except that we rarely sing a standard-version hymn (have you noticed that when we do, EVERYONE sings, even if they don’t sing to any of the new songs?)

    One of the things we don’t do anymore that I really miss is congregational scripture reading. There is something, I dunno….cleansing and unifying about standing together and reading Scripture out loud. Plus it is another way for us to participate instead of spectate. Also things like reading the Apostle’s Creed, etc. We have so many new churchgoers who don’t even know what this stuff is, why are we not exposing them to it as well as regrounding ourselves in the basics?

    I’d like to see a combining of the best of the old (for historical richness & continuity) with the best of the new (for freshness) and yes, to keep it contemporvant–moving forward without losing where we came from.

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