I apologise for the recent silence – I was enjoying a week away and felt that it would be better for me to take a holiday from writing bloggages as well. But now, da da daaaah, I am back. And I have been doing a lot of reflecting.
This morning I was visiting one of the churches in my section of the Eastern Baptist Association (and preaching there). After the service there was a shared lunch and the thought occurred to me that it would be interesting if the same conversations took place over the shared lunch as might normally take place in our homes after the service*…
“It was quite good, but I didn’t like the second song.”
“Oh. That’s one of my favourites. But the music group did play it too slowly.”
“And weren’t they loud? I couldn’t hear myself sing when they hit the high notes.”
“You’d have thought the sound desk would have turned them down a bit.”
“They were probably too busy trying to get the Minister’s attention to tell her to turn her radio mike on.”
“It was good that she realised. I really enjoyed her sermon.”
“Me too. But it did go on a bit long. She could have cut her fifteenth point and still had the same impact.”
“You’re right. It did get a bit repetitive. But I didn’t mind as it was my favourite parable.”
“The parable of the wise and foolish virgins! Really – that’s your favourite parable?”
“Oh yes. It reminds me of the scout motto: ‘Be prepared’.”
“But you were never in the scouts.”
“That’s true. But I like to be prepared. That’s why I always check out the songs from the hymn number board before the service.”
“Oh. I use it to choose my lottery numbers!”
“If you won, would you give anything to the church?”
“Perhaps, I could stuff a wad of notes in the offering bag. That would surprise the stewards if the bag was full.”
“It might make them smile.”
“It would certainly make the treasurer smile.”
“I’d pay to see that…”
When you look at or participate in conversations about church services how much of the dissection is based on your preferences; what you got from the service; what you enjoyed; what distracted you… in short, how much of it is about you?:
If it’s more about you than it is about God can I gently suggest that you ought to revisit your approach? We call services an ‘act of worship’, which reminds us that the focus of the service is not us, but Jesus Christ. Surely any post-service analysis that relates to us should be much more about what we were able to offer by way of worship than what we got?
Just a thought.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
*All of these are fictitious comments and any similarity with over-lunch comments (past or present) is purely intentional but coincidental. None relate to any of the services where I have been present.