We visited a new church today and, I have to say, it was pretty nice. A simple service complete with all the elements I believe should be a part of corporate worship: music, communion, prayer and discipleship (sermon) and no “special reflective time to give the offering [aka request for money]”.
There were definitely parts I did not really agree with – namely the removal of children from the sanctuary during discipleship. I allowed Hannah to go with her friends to “Bibleland” this week, but next week she will stay with us. I have strong convictions about corporate FAMILY worship. I thought it was quite sad that most of the children weren’t hearing the wonderful sermon on the Great Day when Christ will come on a cloud and we will all, Followers of Christ and Jesus-Rejectors, stand before Him and declare Him King of Kings and Lord of Lords! But, at the same time, I don’t see much virtue in requiring children under the age of 4 or 5 to remain in the sanctuary either!! So really, I’m kind of a fence sitter on this one. Parents need a time of refueling too, I just have a hard time believing that time should be on Sunday during worship when I think, perhaps, we should Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Him…and forbid them not the Kingdom of Heaven. Funny. That was part of the topic today.
But I digress…and need to move along with the main topic.
Surprisingly the music was reverential even though it was compromised of modern praise and worship vs. “antiquated hymns.” ***I don’t think hymns are antiquated and I do think modern day Christians ought to learn them! They are rich in doctrine and theology and they should be the cornerstone of any modern day praise and worship service. Their intrinsic value in relation to spiritual growth is truly immeasurable. Richy hymns represent, to me, the true Meat of worshipping God through song.***
But that said – this church’s praise and worship was WAAAY better than a church we visited last fall where all they sang were hymns and the median age of the congregation was 65 and I wondered if the musical notation for tempo on every song was written, “Ritardando w/o Brio!: Gradual lessening of tempo without vigor or spirit!” Which, in all honesty, is as irreverent as singing Jars of Clay from the pulpit and calling it Praise.
The sanctuary was beautiful and we enjoyed low lighting and a room full of candles! The ambiance was definitely a big plus for me. It really gave to the idea of slowing down and resting on the Sabbath.
I had to really keep myself in check to not be judgemental about this “different” model of corporate worship I had exposed us to. It was similar to our previous church we left last year, but definitely not anything like the original church we were a part of for so long as new believers. Those defining years, as new believers, were spent entrenched in legalism. It has taken a lot for God to pull us out of it.
We’ll be going back next Sunday. The children are excited. It will be a good resting place until God calls us somewhere else, should that be His will. We’ve been without a church home for a year now. It’s time.
Afterwards we enjoyed a long, lingering meal at our new favorite Italian Restaurant with my best friend whom I’ve known since I was 11!
See…to those of you who think I’m an unreliable person who uses people for my own game/gain….I can maintain long term relationships with people! It just has depends on the person I suppose! LOL! Thankfully my best friend from 5th grade is neither judgemental, presumptuous or condemning. She’s my opposite. HAHAHAHA
**Edited to say that Friday Night Girl probably really is my oldest friend! I’ve known her since 4th grade, when I was 9, and we went to the same elementary school in Belton. There was a singular moment that I’ve always remembered and giggled about over the years though at the time I just thought she was being herself…her weird self.
FNG was standing at her locker putting books in and we were talking about handwriting and I told her I liked how she wrote her lowercase g’s. She didn’t put the tail on the “g” but just would write the letter with a circle and straight line down. She said, and I quote because for some reason this has always stuck with me, “Oh, I never draw the ‘tails’ on my lowercase g’s. That’s so juvenile and childish and I’m more than JUST a child!”
HAHAHAHAHA It makes me laugh everytime I think of it.
That’s “SO Friday Night Girl”…. I think that’s why I like her so much. Plus, I bought her this really pretty vase for her wedding off her registry at Pier One. Funny thing is I never gave it to her. You know…I just never found time to actually go GIVE her the gift and I didn’t make to the wedding or bridal showers (gee…I’ve always been bad about these kinds of things haven’t I!) and eventually I just took it out of the wedding bag and started using it for myself! And now I think about her every couple of months when I get it out to put flowers in. I have thought about giving it to her now…but then, I’m afraid, I would forget about her. So, sorry FNG, no vase for you – but I’m glad you have such good taste!