A view from the cheap seats

the majority of those who are reading this right now are people who went to church yesterday.   here are a few ways we normally evaluate the experience (no matter where we happen to attend):

  • the sermon was really boring.  or…
  • i could listen to this guy for hours!
  • the band rocked…
  • the air conditioning wasn’t working very well…
  • the seats were set up all weird…
  • somebody’s cell phone went off during the sermon…
  • geez.  we do the same things every week…
  • the coffee was really strong…
  • we had some new people come to the service…
  • they used a different font on the video screen…
  • there were too many announcements…
  • they always place so much emphasis on money…
  • there were so many people missing…
  • we never finish on time…
  • we stand up too much…
  • i wish we didn’t have to turn and greet people…
  • there are never enough seats in the back…
  • we should have dr. pepper and donuts every sunday…
  • the kids in the youth group never sing…
  • the melodies on the songs are too hard to follow…
  • people with bad voices really bother me…
  • the nursery isn’t big enough…
  • we need refreshments…
  • or a thousand other observations.

here are some basic things to remember.   nothing i’ll write is new.   it’s just stuff we need to continue remind each other of…and hold each other accountable to.

we don’t go to church.   we are the church. church is not a show…a spectacle…an event…a performance…or a carefully choreographed dramatic presentation.   the church may come together to study and sing and take communion and give offerings and build friendship and meet new people…but it is not a sunday morning extravaganza.

we don’t need a band to worship.   we don’t need to sing to worship.   our emotions don’t need to be stirred in order to worship.   worship is not reserved for an hour on sunday mornings.   worship is our life expression.   worship is giving our best at whatever we do,  for the honor of god.   worship is living a life of serving and giving and goodness.   worship is daily following the footsteps of jesus.   worship is not a slice of our weekly pie.   worship is the whole pie.

church is people.   church is relating and caring and serving and talking and listening and accepting and growing deeper.   church is forgiving and bearing burdens and welcoming new people into our lives.

church is not about sitting in chairs and watching the professionals perform.   church is about everyone doing what god has designed us to do…both together and individually.

church is being light in darkness.   church is hope for the hopeless.   church is an infirmary.   church is a safehouse.   church is a training camp.

church is a lot of things.   but it is not an hour on sunday mornings!

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4 thoughts on “A view from the cheap seats

  1. My thoughts went kind of like this:
    Yea! It’s church day! I get to hang with fun people and laugh and cry and learn and listen and HEAR.
    Geez, somebody’s cell is going off….oooh. Wanda’s in troubleeee! LOL!
    I like singing here and FEELING.
    Mike is a rockstar!

  2. The biggest obstacle was being programmed to think that church is a pastor saying “Listen to me, I am telling you the word of God”. While I was being spit and sweated on from their passion, I would get hyped up with this weird emptiness. It seemed that everyone else around me was getting it but me. Maybe they were getting something, but now I know that all I was doing was letting myself worship God built only on emotion. I know now from the past few months and actually cracking open a bible, no one else can worship for me.

  3. I walked into church yesterday with a lot of baggage. I was distracted. I was detached. I couldn’t focus. All that was my fault. Had nothing to do with the show. Had nothing to do with the music. You could have the most eloquent preacher and the best praise and worship band of all time, but if when you walk through the door your heart isn’t open to the message you aren’t going to get anything out of it. Yesterday was about me and I got it wrong. I don’t have to wait until next Sunday to walk into a building to get myself right with God. I did that a communion. I did that when I tucked my sons into bed. I did it again this morning when I woke up with another day to glorify Him not me.

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