Sunday, March 22, 2009

Church thoughts

We've visited 3 different churches in the last 3 weeks. 1 Non-denominational, 1 Methodist, and 1 Evangelical Free, all claiming to have 700+ in attendance. Here are my thoughts so far-Warning. These aren't meant to be critical or negative, just what I was thinking at the time...
  • The spirit of God is alive and well at these churches. There was definitely a sense of family. Although, as a visitor, I felt like an outsider at each one.
  • 2 churches had great info on their website for newcomers and visitors. 1 did not.
  • I'm reminded that, while worship isn't about me, I definitely have a preference. Is that wrong?
  • I was used to being entertained in worship. I realize that worship is a verb and I need to start participating
  • security for kids is a must-1 church had adequate security, 1 church was questionable, 1 church hasn't heard of the word before...don't expect me to leave my baby with you if you don't have a system in place.
  • it's hard to create a sense of flow in a liturgical service. I had a hard time with this when I was in charge of planning worship services. I was reminded of that today.
  • I HATE the awkward "turn to those around you and say hello" time. Yes, I used all caps. And I meant to.
  • One church specifically asked the congregation to ask the people around them if they were new. No one asked us.
  • 2 churches had ladies standing behind the "visitor center" who had no clue what was going on or how to help visitors with kids. Note-if you volunteer at church, make sure you know what's going on, or don't volunteer
  • the word "contemporary" has many different meanings
  • Please don't sing to a tract if you have someone who can play for you. Ever. I didn't even know they made accompaniment tracts anymore.
  • It's pointless having people on stage singing into a mic when no one in the congregation can hear them. This happened in all 3 churches.
  • I could get used to Saturday evening worship. Then, spend Sunday morning at home for family worship and use that day to rest. Most of our Sunday mornings are spent arguing with the girls over what's "appropriate" to wear to church and complaining b/c we're running late. Kind of defeats the purpose of Sabbath, huh?
  • Finding a church home shouldn't be hard. Maybe that's why there are so many non-churched people in Wichita.
ok-your turn. What are your church thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know-

7 comments:

Lissasings said...

Danny and I are currently reading the book "So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore" by Jake Colsen...it's a work of fiction, but has some interesting insights. Danny and I have been feeling quite lost in our church home...working for the church, as you well know, has it's definite drawbacks! We are finding that God is showing us that worshipping Him doesn't always have to be done inside the 4 walls of a church. Not knocking the church as a whole...just some issues we are working through right now.

It all comes down to accountability. We are called to be accountable only to God...not to church committees, being on time each week, filling our pew and not taking someone elses, etc.

We are patiently listening to God's leading us on this...it's interesting to me that God led me to your blog right now...hmmm...God works in mysterious ways.

I love this song...it's really speaking to me right now. I'm sure you've heard it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLJF9vaIJ_0&feature=related


Melissa

Michelle Osborn said...

Yes, I love that song! Thanks so much for sharing-

SAL said...

oh am I a ThoughtFULL mom right now too! First, I'd love for you guys to come to RPC sometime, if just to give us our strengths and weaknesses as a baby church!
1) I also HATE the greeting time, always have & I'm the PW! 2) So true about security--duh! right?
3) You won't like our worship, but we are a seeker church. 3 types: seeker, saved & saved but open to seekers. We are definitely seeker oriented. I don't think there's one right one, but I think knowing the 3 types helps going in, when you visit. 4)You KNOW I'd love a Sat. night service, mornings are not my best times. 5) Worship is a verb. So true!

Marla said...

I think Bill Hybels says that the church is the "hope of the world." I have extremely high expectations when visiting a church. Your experience on a typical Sunday morning says a lot about the leadership of the church, whether or not the leadership had any hand in the nursery, the music, or the preaching. And if a church claims to have 700 in attendance or 50, there must be security in place. If a church doesn't, that just screams how inward focused they are and not outward.

Gil said...

I have always liked the greeting time, but it seems like no one else does.

Just out of curiosity, is there something in particular that you don't like about it? Is it just the fact that it feels forced?

Michelle Osborn said...

I liked the greeting time, when I was on stage leading. It gave the worship team a chance to change focus, key, etc...how's that for 2-faced :)
I've never been in a service where the greeting time didn't feel forced, or break the flow of worship. I feel uncomfortable. I feel like I "have" to talk to those around me, then I feel rejected if they don't talk back. I think the real greet time should happen between services. When there's more than 15 seconds to say hello and you can greet anyone, not just those sitting next to you. Greeting time in worship just seems fake to me. Just my thoughts...

Gil said...

I don't think that's 2-faced at all. It's just a case of recognizing that in one situation it served a purpose, and in the other...well, it's just irritating to you! :)

Personally, I actually enjoy the greeting time more on the occasional week that I am in the congregation, because it gives me a chance to talk to people I don't otherwise get to, albeit very briefly.

That's a definite downside of being portable - I feel like I need to be tearing equipment down as soon as the service is over instead of heading out front to connect with people.