Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Church Planting

We’re planting a church in the area and I had all these hopes and dreams for a “new” type of church. A new feel, a new focus. One thing it wouldn’t be is “program” based. I’m so tired of programming. Sunday morning, Sunday night services, Wednesday night prayer service, small group, special events, now a Sunday morning class…What the heck! We haven’t even launched yet and all these things are being put in place.

Last Sunday morning as I took in the service with the other nineteen people I began realizing how much our service looks just like every other 1980’s service I’ve ever seen. The pastor in a three peace suite, lecture format seating, hymnals (hymnals, what the heck!), same procedures: announcements, singing, offering, sermon, benediction of some type. Even with twenty people you could have snuck in and snuck out without anyone saying hello.

So what do I do? Do I pack it up and move on to some other church that is already heading down the road I want to go? I’ve talked to the pastor and he says he wants to change the format, but I say, “so what’s stopping us?” Why the lecture seating when we are just twenty people and have this divine opportunity for some serious dialogue and interaction? Why the big sermon when we could have an open discussion? Why ever the three piece suite?

As I’ve just begun to read “Emerging Worship” I resonate with the feeling that there is a change coming to the church. I don’t know exactly what that change is or what it looks like, and I know it has to do with a lot more than format, but I can’t place it exactly. Yet there is this restlessness. A need for authentic Christianity that interacts with all of humanity. How do we do this?