Tuesday, February 15, 2005

234 Two services, one faith

Faith Christian near my brother's home in Bradenton, FL, has recently started a Saturday evening service. Although we were prepared for loud music when seeing the stage set up, it was really pretty mellow with Vineyard-type praise songs, and my niece's husband played the soprano sax. It was quite pleasant. What was really casual was the dress code. No bikinis, but I think I saw just about anything else, and I think Saturday night services are fairly casual around the country.

To borrow a phrase from Dr. Phil, "Is it working for you?" I think the intention of informal services is to make the visitor feel welcome and comfortable, but we were visitors and it didn't feel particularly worshipful or spiritual to me. If I'm camping in the woods and we have a campfire and sing some quiet hymns, toss wood chips into the fire and comment on various insights, that's spiritual and appropriate.

On Sunday we attended Cortez Road Baptist Church. It was also informal because the pastor was ill and the lay people filled in and a visiting missionary preached. At one point, one layman sang the Ohio State fight song when we visitors introduced ourselves during the pre-worship time as Columbus residents. We visitors were able to sing all the hymns, even those we didn't know, because hymn books were provided instead of words on a screen. It helped us feel like part of the group. "Amens" were heard from the pews when the congregation agreed with the speaker, and prayers were lifted for the ill and shut-ins. Both churches preached the gospel and God was glorified.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Joe Carter inspired the "Meet Your Neighbors" project. I've taken it up (on weekdays). Today your blog came out of the hat. Peace.

(from Pseudo-Polymath).