I’ve been thinking a lot lately about church services. They seem to keep coming up. From people writing about them on their blogs, to others writing me about them in emails. More importantly, I’ve found myself desperately trying to find ways of somehow taking a really old outline and making it new and interesting. In addition to all of this, an alliance of churches in our community have been considering ways to reach out to the community. One of their ideas was “open airs” (I kid you not).
I, like many of you, have spent the last decade or so trying to amp up church services. Tweaking here, adjusting there, and then presenting the exact same service with the “sermon” in the MIDDLE of the worship set, drama at the end, video throughout, and cool visuals going all of the time. I’ve done services where nobody ever sits down (well, rarely). I’ve done services where the message is primarily shared through small groups. I’ve done services where the song selection, with verses in between, were meant to deliver the sermon. And in the end, I still ended up doing a tweaked version of a church service. Now, I’m not one of those people who want to change things just for the sake of changing them. I used to be, but I’ve learned that that isn’t much more profitable than just doing it the same old way. But it’s pretty clear to me that people aren’t engaging like they need to be. I’m not even engaging like I need to be. It’s also pretty clear to me that we, as leaders, spend a ton of time trying to come up with ways of engaging people in something that just isn’t all that interesting. It seems to me that if we’re having to find ways of getting people interested, that maybe we should just find something else that already does. ???
With that in mind I ask the following questions.
How important is it to have a weekly church service?
Do you see this as a negotiable?
Are there more effective ways to promote all of the reasons we say we have Sunday morning church (fellowship, worship, Bible study)?
When you attend a church service, do you see a congregation that is engaged, or a congregation ready for the service to be over so that they can visit or go home?
This isn’t part of my “A New Kind of Church” posts, but I wonder if the new church might focus MUCH less on big corporate worship services and much more on smaller group worship, fellowship, Bible study, and accountability?