This sunday I was struck, not by a overly charismatic worshiper! But the contrast the strict structure adhered to, of singing, notices, tea and coffee break and then listening to the preacher, and how it reminded me of the traditional model which many including me have is tried to move away from.
But also that there was something missing from this church, where I am an occasional worshipper. The missing ingrediant here, it appears is in whats not said rather than what is said. It's not in the jesuscentric focus of you need to get Jesus, but in the lack of other narratives that are no less important, as Rev Donald Sopa once put it, preaching should be holding the newspaper in one hand and the bible in the other. I have been a Christian for 21 years And I need to hear more than a focus on my need for salvation.
This service and church hasn't changed it's narrative, style and structure in several years, this church is a vineyard church near where I live. I find in contrast that goes against the grain of ditching traditional for contemporary, that modern style sometimes doesn't properly cut it. People deserve, more than a style or hype, but wisdom, insight, that relates into their world. Draws there stuff alongside or in line with that of the sacred, this should be done regardless of style.
The scary thing about sunday is this, if the lord had not called me to be a minister in the methodist church, I would have gone to a church like that, and loved it, warn trendy clothes and been part of the life of that community. But would I have grown as I have, as a Christian in a church and with a people who sometimes frustrate me, and make me tearup at there saintlyness, but whose theology and spiritually is a life long journey, not what sometimes appears to be theology by tick box. I guess I will never have no!
Lord God let us not compromise walking deeply with you for a cool image or style, that doesn't really reach into our souls. Amen