What do you think?

This video has been floating around for a few weeks now.  Watch it and then we’ll talk….

Now that you’ve watched it, what did you think?  I’ve heard many different responses to this video.  Some people have responded with praise and thanksgiving  that they worship in a traditional church as they never have to experience the shallowness they believe this style offers.  Other people have responded with horror at the joke.  They felt this was selling a new style short and was unfair in it’s portrayal.

The video was created by Northpoint Church in Atlanta as part of the Drive Conference it hosts each year for pastors. It did what it was supposed to do, it forced people to think.  It forced people to look at worship and see how they felt about it and ultimately discover what was the most important thing. Modeled after it’s own style, it was very effective.

Ultimately the video reminds us that it’s not the style or strategy that matters, it’s the message.  When we focus too much on the money or fame or style we’ve lost the point of why we gather.

In truth, most of us in the church don’t have to worry about money or fame or stylized worship. I’m not Andy Stanley or Rick Warren or Joel Osteen.  I don’t have to worry about security or numbers or light shows on Sunday morning. But even so I can learn from them.  When I think of their style of worship I see that:

  1. They have teams to lead different segments of worship.  People who are gifted at music run the music ministry. Others with a love for technology get involved with the intros. Some might be greeters while others serve coffee before the service. People are needed to serve.  In order for things to work the members have to get involved.
  2. There’s more than one Pastor doing the work of the church.  Some preach. Others lead worship. Some direct the music ministries. Others still work with children. There’s a youth pastor. Each area is served by someone who is gifted in that area and really has a passion for it.
  3. Not taking yourself too seriously can lead to many opportunities for growth.

If you’re part of a traditional service can you honestly say that you use your people.    Do you use people in the congregation?  Are you finding ways to help people serve? This is absolutely essential for us. Too often in a traditional congregation there are the same ten people doing the same ten jobs. We need to find ways to engage congregants and get them involved. Only when you are involved do you truly own the experience and maybe once our people feel like they own their worship they’ll get excited enough to bring people along.

If you’re part of a traditional service {and are the Pastor} can you honestly say you like doing it alone?  In the areas you’re less gifted in would you like to work with someone?  Would you like being part of a team better than being an individual? Truthfully I’d love working with other people. I love youth but know of others ministers who are exceptional youth pastors who I could learn so much from.   I’d love to learn about stewardship and pastoral care from people who are given those gifts.  I’m all about sharing the wealth and building on the gifts we’ve all be given.  We need to begin working together in order to truly offer a whole experience when people come into our community of faith.

If you’re part of a traditional service do you ever take a step back and look at what you’re doing and why you’re doing it? These guys did and they saw areas that could potentially be standing in the way of a true worship experience.  What’s standing in your way?  Is it routine? Is it rigidity? Find it and think about it.   Too often we think we’re doing something right because it’s worked in the past and we’re comfortable with it. This leads to apathy and apathy doesn’t lead to growth or discipleship. Sometimes we need to change things up so we really experience things. I’m not talking light shows or zebras here but a few new hymns or an intergeneration worship never hurt anyone.

I guess the video served it’s purpose.  I thought.  Then I thought again.  And if I’m honest I’m still thinking.  Now that I’ve shared my thoughts I’d love to hear yours. What do you think?

One response to “What do you think?

  1. Nick Athanasiadis

    I echo your comment: our infatuation with the medium can overwhelm the message. Even more, the parody alerts us to our temptations in trying to be more than we are. It pokes a hole in our pretensions, and people are not fooled. A the same time, none of us who come before God in worship are excused from striving for excellence!

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