Corporate worship is not only the crux/cornerstone of what we DO as the Church, but of who we ARE as the Church.
If this is the case, why are so many people dissatisfied with what that looks like in practice; some to the point of abandoning ‘going to church’? How have those who officiate church services gone wrong? How have those who attend (or used to attend) church services gone wrong?
Church History according to Me in my Small Corner
“Church” was fairly simple to begin with, just sort of hanging out and enjoying it.
A while later, some world leader guy converts to Christianity (apparently for fairly ambiguous reasons) and decides everyone should join him. I’m guessing there’s some sort of link here to how the church became a little bit more like the church that was kind of early, but without being the Early Church?
So the Not-so-Early-but-still-earlier-than-now-Church, all used to be in a language only the clergy understood, so some guy caused a bit of a stir until eventually the bible etc were beginning to be in the vernacular and things got a bit better.
Don’t tell Ballymoney I said that.
Then for a while, lots of people decided that they didn’t particularly like the way things were being done, for lots of different reasons and so went off and did it the way they liked.
Some thought things were too fancy, some thought things were too dull, some thought things were too emotional, some thought things were too intellectual.
Recent History according to MIMSC
More recently (à mon avis), people thought things weren’t friendly enough and so started a movement of church services more geared to ‘fellowship’ and making sure people were included and words like ‘missional’ and ‘integral’ began to emerge as part of the vernacular. Except that in defining themselves in these ways means that people’s expectations of being welcomed and befriended are raised waaaaay high to the point where they’re just all the more disappointed when they feel excluded/undervalued etc.
Increasingly, churches are shaping their corporate worship around the desires/preferences/felt needs of those who attend.
Increasingly, people are walking away from corporate worship.
These are statements, not critiques.
My question is that if my opening statement is true, where do YOU think our corporate worship is failing to be a true expression of who we are as the body of Christ in the world?
Once you’re done discussing, you can research the first Christian Church Meeting (unless you’re of a sensitive disposition).