Sunday, January 24, 2010

mediocre church

by Amber

I went to church twice today. Two different places, yet the same kind of vibe: casual. It made me start to think about what we lose and gain when we strive to be too casual.

Here's what I discovered gets lost in attempt to be too casual:

1. people in leadership positions looked unprepared.
2. dressing down too much makes recognition of leaders more difficult for new people.
3. word choice got sloppy. i'm a firm believer in practicing. even if i'm doing announcements or introducing a song. being efficient and to the point makes lousy tasks (like announcements or introductions) a little more bearable. elements in worship start to seem disconnected.
4. a lack of stories (Biblical) or too many stories (personal) in a sermon lose the attention of listeners.
5. when things change too much from week to week, regular worshippers don't sing, pray, or worship as loudly as they would if there were more consistency.

So what are the benefits of churches who pride themselves on being casual?

1. coffee, food, and treats brought into the worship space. hospitality is a must!
2. keeping the albs in the closet give one less barrier between leadership and lay people.
3. no one expects things to be perfect, so mistakes are encouraging to the listener. long pauses become accepted by people, and they don't care about seemlessness. less of a performance that way.
4. nothing stays the same from week to week, so new people and veterans both begin on an equal playing field.
Modern. Relevant. Meaningful. Experiential. All things I love about worship. Somehow, casual doesn't rank up there as high as others. You tell me, in a few words, what do you value the most about your church or your dream church? Maybe Kevin and I can start one!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helpful insights, Amber. Thanks for sharing!

1/25/2010 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

You lay out both sides well. I think I agree with what you are saying. Often the problem isn't that things are casual or formal but that they are just done poorly. And if it is not prepared and done well it doesn't matter if we make it more casual or more formal.

1/25/2010 11:14:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home