Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

2/17/2006

Being boring is a sin

Buckhead Church currently meets in a remodeled grocery store

I think being boring is a sin,
says Jeff Henderson, CEO of Atlanta's Buckhead Church. In the current issue of Vision, a magazine of church technology, Henderson opens up about why some churches might not be reaching non-Christians. He goes on to say,
If we really believe that Jesus is who He says He is, we have to be the happiest, most creative, most joyful people around. The reason the world has given up on the church is that they see through us. I don't think they think we really believe what we believe. I would rather go down smiling and laughing than being boring and antagonistic with each other...creativity and having fun are essential. I think that's what Jesus did.
As someone who has said on more than one occasion, "If laughter is not involved, I'm not going," I'm not in a position to take exception to the idea that church should not being boring. But none of us could readily agree on which part of a worship service might be boring and which part is the part where God is speaking to you.

inside the current location for Buckhead ChurchBack in Atlanata, Henderson's church is a campus of Andy Stanley's growing North Point Ministries. Like many mega churches, they understand the goal of reaching a lost and dying world with the Gospel and are unafraid to adapt their methods to reach this goal.

North Point, bridges this gap, in a pattern common to mega churches, in using small groups that create the space for more serious discussion on life changing issues to continue. These small groups turn down the volume on entertainment and crank up the expectations of follow through during the week. At least for those who sign up and regularly attend their small group.

I admire this. I also wonder when the methods begin to teach. When that happens, it will begin with the main services of the church, through which people identify their church. When the medium becomes the message, we could come to see God as a great entertainer and can't find God in those times that are not so joyfilled? Certainly in very different churches from Buckhead, some people have come to see God as stained glass, pews and organ music.

How can we break beyond the confines of the worship space to teach as we believe that God is present throughout the creation and that God is definitely NOT boring. Is there a way to teach in a way that we come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and not in a given church or that church's methods of conveying the Gospel?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

the planned Buckhead Church building, currently under construction

2 Comments:

  • At 2/17/2006 3:38 PM, Anonymous William said…

    While I applaud the results of the mega churches in getting folks to at least think about living a Christian life, I wonder if sometimes they go too far.

    How much should the church conform to accomodate us? Have we gone too far when the liturgy disappears in the slide shows? Is this a symptom of a generation with a very short attention span and too much television? Is it really a sin to be boring? Or is it just that we do not want to stop long enough to examine ourselves and to contemplate the mystery of our salvation? When did God go into the entertainment business?

    How much should we conform to the church and/or the gospel? When do we take up our cross and follow Him? When do we examine ourselves through His eyes? When will we really learn that the first shall be last and the last shall be first?

    I understand that as representatives of The Church we have to go where the lost and floundering are to be found, but personally I see no value in praise services if you come away from them without having been in God's presence. I now find myself attending a church replete with smells and bells. For me it is more holy, with more emphasis on our proper relationship with Him. The singing, the hand clapping, the miraculous healings and the emphasis on the pastor's performance are for me just a number of distractions.
    I prefer to put the focus on Christ.

     
  • At 2/17/2006 5:34 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Good points, as always, William. While I wouldn't want to encourage someone to dismiss Christianity as boring, because I experience the leading of the Holy Spirit as much too vibrant to be called boring. We also shouldn't lose a sense of reverence. Silence in worship is not dead time. The congregation should not be an audience, but participants in worship, which is worship, not entertainment.
    peace,
    Frank+

     

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