The church I go to is starting a new worship service and I’ve got mixed emotions about it. On one hand I’m excited. On the other, I’ve got some concerns. It’s going to be a mid-week service geared to the 18 – early 30 year old crowd. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I teach a single’s Bible study class in this age range, and I love it. We have often talked about the need for this kind of service, but never could pull it together. But now it seems to be happening. To start, the service will only meet once a month for March, April and May. Then in the fall it will kick off every other week. I’m praying a new church will be starting from all this, but that’s just me.
I’m concerned about how this worship gathering time will be done. The guy pulling the details together works with students across the world, and is on the board of Passion, Lou Giglio’s organization, so I’m not worried about him. But what I’m concerned with is there seems to be little input from anybody in the targeted age group. I’m getting my information about what is going on from a mutual friend, and he doesn’t have any direct dealings with this age group yet he seems to be in on the meetings and planning. I’ll have to wait and see just how really different this service will be.
They want to reach un-churched, non-churched, and de-churched young adults (single and married) but the first thing I told them was they needed to GET IT OUT OF THE BAPTIST CHURCH BUILDING. It’s now going to be in the gym of a local school. The second thing I suggested was DON’T LET THE 56 YEAR OLD BAPTIST PREACHER PREACH. At least, not initally. He’s a good preacher, but I don’t think he can relate on their level. He just doesn’t look comfortable in jeans and his shirt tail out. 🙂
I’m excited though, and I’ll post about the services here.
This is a national holiday for Australians that celebrates the British first landing there in 1788. I think we ought to all take off out of respect for our brothers and sisters across the ocean since we don’t celebrate the British landing here in the States (we just celebrate them leaving).
Two significant events in the Australian music scene occur on Australia Day – the Triple J Hottest 100, usually celebrated by fans with a barbecue and party, and the Sydney leg of the Big Day Out music festival. There is also often a one day cricket match such as the 2006 Australia Day match in Adelaide.
2005 Top Five (from the Hottest 100:
1. Bernard Fanning – Wish You Well
2. Ben Lee – Catch My Disease
3. Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
4. Foo Fighters – Best of You
5. Gorillaz – Dare
So, my house for an all day barbecue and party. We’ll listen to the Hottest 100 and watch a cricket match. Just show up and we’ll throw another shrimp on the barbie.
This is a quote from an article that A Thinker linked to about “Should God Bless America”.
We were given exceptional opportunities to make this world a better place for all of God’s children, not just the children of the obscenely wealthy who have more than they need or could ever use. We were given fiscal resources, natural resources, and intellectual resources to help others less fortunate. To feed the hungry. To house the homeless. To heal the sick. Instead, we will spend over $500 billion this year on a war machine that spews death and destruction around the world, gobbling up our financial resources at over $12,000 per second. Why would God bless such a profligate people when hundreds of millions of people lack food, clean water, basic sanitation, not to mention clothing, shelter, and education? How can we ever justify before God or man spending over $12,000 per second on a war machine when each day, every day, 30,000 children die from malnutrition and the diseases associated with malnutrition?
If you’re attractive enough on the outside,
people will forgive you for being irritating to the core.
Shaun Groves writes about some questions he has about Jesus and the event-driven church that I found interesting. The event-driven church is the one where their main focus, energy and money is the Sunday morning worship. Shaun writes:
I’m thinking a lot about the things we/I care about most and the things Jesus seems to have cared about most. I wonder if He would spend $250,000 on a big screen, $100,000 on a catwalk and intelligent lighting, thousands more on plush interiors or would he build a housing project for low income families or spend more on mission work, start cottage industries in unused church space, buy sonogram machines for crisis pregnancy centers, train the unemployed, pay people’s bills, start a free medical clinic, provide free counseling for members, give scholarships, fund the underground churches of the world, train foreign pastors in theology etc etc.
Would he demand that members of his church volunteer to work in the nursery as parts of the “body” of Christ or would he pay outsiders to do that for them and essentially let them off and teach them that they have no responsibility to each other? I wonder if he would sign any warm body up to teach Sunday school and then let them say and teach whatever they felt like without ever checking in or would he train teachers as Paul trained Timothy even if it meant there were fewer of them? Would he start a baby church that watches taped sermons every week from the mother church’s pastor (man, this is happening a lot now) or would he invest in discipling a pastor to teach there instead? Would he insist on music from a band in every service or insist on service to the community from every Christian? What would matter most to him? Would he so over-stress the importance of entertainment in church that his youth group would walk out on Toby Mac for being boring (ours did a few years back) or would they be respectful, eager to learn and listen even to an old guy with a guitar – though of course they’d/we’d all appreciate entertainment – just not demand it? Would his youth be cool or disinterested in cool, above and beyond cool? Or could even Jesus get teen agers to stop caring what people think about them?
Read the rest here.
I think a lot of what Shaun is saying is true, at least it rings true to me. I think our priorities have shifted away from the Gospel, and our emphasis is now more on entertainment and what Tony Evans calls “fast food” Christianity. We do this in our churches today to reach the most people possible. But what are we reaching them with? Maybe that is why I’m feeling so empty lately.
“It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks.”
In my reading today:
Deuteronomy 30 (The Message)
8 And you will make a new start, listening obediently to GOD, keeping all his commandments that I’m commanding you today. 9 GOD, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you’ll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life. Yes, GOD will start enjoying you again, making things go well for you just as he enjoyed doing it for your ancestors.
10 But only if you listen obediently to GOD, your God, and keep the commandments and regulations written in this Book of Revelation. Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to GOD, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back.
And then the writer finishes with:
19 I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. 20 And love GOD, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on the soil that GOD, your God, promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
His peace on you.