Saturday, April 26, 2003
Got a good comment from IreneQ on a post about worship and the church of the revolving door, so I decided to link it here and post my "reply" in the blog.
"I know a pastor who used to insist that church service and cell group meetings must end by a certain time. His reason: "Your word is your bond. People must know that your word can be trusted, that if you say it's gonna end by a certain time, it will. Moreover, some need to arrange transportation home and we don't want to keep kids' parents waiting." I saw his point, and it was admirable... but at the same time I chafed at the rigidity... how do we balance the two?... As for worship - it never seems to be long enough."
I grew up under that same kind of system, and then found out that by adding an "extra" half hour or even an hour to the service, while it took getting used to, gave you a lot of freedom and flexibility. We regularly go about 2.5 hrs every Sunday, amd it feels weird to get out any earlier than 12:30pm.
"I hate the practice of having announcements and offering directly after the worship - it's such a let-down, it's like coming back to earth with a huge bump after being in the clouds. I'm all 'high' from being in God's presence and then the pastor/worship leader starts to drone: "On Tuesday afternoon the Ladies' Fellowship will be meeting..." Eww!"
I agree - there should be a flow and a balance, with nothing stopping the natural progress. From worship with body/voice to worship with wallet/checkbook to worship with mind.life-challenge - that's not a bad path. But there's no good time to make announcements. At the beginning, no one's paying attention while they're coming in, socializing or preparing their hearts for the service. Afterwards, no one's paying attention because they're getting ready to leave and eat. It's usually that "bump in the road" in the middle. I handle most of the announcements at church: I've got PowerPoint slides looping before and after, a bulletin each week and a monthly newsletter, and still no one pays attention to what's coming unless someone says it from a mike-stand. Weird.