2 weeks ago the music part of our service went 1 hour and 15 minutes. When it was over no one could believe it went that long and I was one of them. It was a wonderful time of being in God’s presence.
The Contemporary Church model in our country says to keep the entire service to 1 hour and 15 minutes! It is commonly believed that no one will stay longer than that let alone spend that whole time in worship. Unfortunately, I have to agree that the majority of Christians won’t worship God that long but I have to wonder why?
Is it because we approach Church like a fast food meal at McDonald’s? I know very few adults that get excited about going to McDonald’s. They go because it is quick and fills the hunger pains.
I wonder if we do the same thing with Church? We go to Church because we have a few spiritual hunger pains but let’s make it quick in order to satisfy our hunger. So we are in and out as fast as possible. The quicker the better. Can we get a drive through service?
What is the place of Church in our society? That too me is the bigger question. Is it a place to satisfy spiritual hunger at a basic level or should it be more? Is Church that bland that we want to hurry it up and get it over with like a meal at McDonald’s?
We don’t do this at nice and expensive restaurants. We will wait 30 minutes in line on a Friday night to get a table at a nice restaurant. We don’t get in a hurry even ordering our meals. We take our time perusing the menu anticipating what the different entrees may taste like. We don’t rush in and say I will have the Combo Meal #1 with Diet Coke.
Are we not doing this sometimes with quick Church?
With our order we will often get an appetizer and then spend one hour just eating and talking enjoying the event with our friends. It is then often followed up by a second ordering time of getting a dessert followed up by more talking and coffee. Obviously we like doing this and we will spend a lot of money on top of that.
Can Church be like a fine meal instead of a happy meal? I think so but it is going to take a change of expectation on the part of the worshippers and the chefs – leaders – in deciding to change what they serve.
On a conceptual level shouldn’t Jesus deserve more worship and if we really met Him in worship I don’t think we would mind staying there! Are our Churches that bland and boring? If they are, no amount of technology or cool environments is going to cover up for long that we are still eating a Happy Meal followed by a Hot Apple Pie. A McDonald’s restaurant is still a restaurant even if they have a playground.
As a leader I think we have 2 problems in the American Church. First, a discipleship problem where people don’t want to worship God probably because they don’t really know what that means and have never seen much true worship. Second, we often lead people into the presence of the church’s cool environment/awesome speaker/whiz bang technology/latest band instead of into His presence.
I know we are all trying hard to get people to come to our services but maybe that is the wrong approach. Maybe we need to work hard at getting the presence of God to come to Church then teach our people how to act when He comes.
Wrong Analysis? What are your thoughts?