I’ve been thinking over and through aspects of “contemporary” Evangelical worship practices. This past Sunday, I was home in Ohio for Mother’s Day (I surprised my Mom – and she was!) and attended the church my sister and her family attend. It is a growing Church of God (Anderson, IN) with a new building and all the “spiritually correct” stuff that is supposed to draw large crowds. It was a fine enough service. The band was very good. The worship leader was a young guy and I could tell that he really enjoyed what he was doing – his personality was infectious. As I watched the crowd, they were actually singing. In many of these kinds of worship services, I’ve noticed that a large majority of the people simply stand and watch the band rather than interring into the worship experience, so I was glad to see that there was more going on than just a “spiritual concert.” The preacher gave a good sermon. Babies were dedicated – it was Mother’s Day after all.
North Point Ministries is a very large mega-church. They’ve done a parody video of themselves, as I understand it, and it captures the new wave of doing church that is supposed to be the “relevant” and “contemporary” thing to do. This too, shall pass. Not that there is anything wrong with it if it is done well and within context, but if, as is happening, everyone jumps on yet another bandwagon that is supposed to save the church in America, then it once again becomes inauthentic and just another passing fad, a puff of wind.
Here is the video parody:
By the way, my sisters church service was a whole lot like this – including the cool video with relevant questions. I don’t get the impression that the pastor thinks he has all the answers, however.
Part of me really liked it – it was fun being back in that environment, even without the all encompassing Charismatic-Evangelical aspects that are not part of the Church of God, Anderson theological belief concerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yet, I’m not there any longer. To me, it smacks of religio-entertainment. People come to God through it, people grow in their relationship with God and one another in the midst of it (if the pastor preachers well, that is), but I would rather be involved in a “full-bodied” experience that I’ve come to know in Catholic worship in its Anglo-Catholic form. We all participate and we all do the work of worship and liturgy together.