December 05, 2016

Children of the Light

I attended a contemporary worship service which, rather than being held in the sanctuary, was held in the youth center. Dark curtains covered the windows, the black backdrop for the stage held unreadable florescent chalk drawings and words, and the black ceiling dulled any illumination in the room. The lighting was so dim that I could hardly take notes, much less read the 10-point font in my Bible. More than a third of the audience was made up of seniors and retirees, who obviously did not find the nightclub atmosphere as disconcerting as I did. As children of the light it’s curious that some people of faith seek an environment of darkness. “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----A nightclub atmosphere? That’s cute! That’s exactly how it struck me when Char and I visited that service. I kept expecting to see tables and drinks. But the rows of chairs and somewhat related-to-the-Bible, campfire like talk the rock band drummer gave was almost enough to remind me of church. Being sure to mention a number of times the cute moniker the other band members, show crew, and giggly church kids gave to him, the drummer rambled through this rather disjointed talk of a few lines leading to somewhat of a conclusion and then a few more leading to some other near conclusion, yadda, yadda…I kept expecting to hear that short drum roll capped with a heavy thud of the bass drum at every punch line of a stand up comic. But I kept remembering -this IS the drummer. So I kept myself assured that I was not listening to a comic. And I tried to realize that many of the people there thought quite highly of the new “worship” service. In some way it touched some people.
-----The service was made for all the young families in the neighborhood who’ve supposed to be flooding into the church because its atmosphere and music now looks and sounds more like Saturday Night Live. But as usual with most of these churches who decide to drive deeper into show-biz, the overwhelming majority of the audience has been merely the regular church members who designed and promoted the “new” show, investing more of themselves into now making it look successful.
-----The real success of a worship service is the Biblical effects it has on hearts and minds. We can’t slice and dice and enumerate those effects. They are numerous. What we can do is make sure that the resources are present and engaged to equip the saints for ministering, building up the body to maturity in unity of faith and knowledge of the Lord. If that requires a Saturday Night Live production, then ok, let’s do it. But I doubt it does; we already have a really good Saturday Night Live. What we are missing is a really good worship service.
-----I haven’t wasted time in that little, dark chamber again. It’s time occupies Sunday school time. And I still like to search out a little learning on Sunday morning before going to a worship service which still looks unabashedly like a church.

Love you all,
Steve Corey