The Groups In The Church

The Entertained Spectators – They want to get something out of church. They often show up and leave right after church. They don’t generally attend prayer meeting or any other part of the church. They are the ones that go from church to church looking for the best music where they can be “fed.”

Many of our attempts to reach the “unchurched” only end up attracting the “spectators.” They don’t want to invest their time into the church. They don’t generally cause problems in the church because they are not there.

They simply sit,listen, and leave.

The Clock-Punchers – These show up to church to “do their duty.” Many will pay their tithe either because of fear of social estrangement or fear of retribution. They dn’t want to go to hell so they show up.

Just like the worker who punches the clock to get paid, they punch the clock to get to heaven. like the entertained, they aren’t in the church really, but they do have one request, A Short Service. They have to get back to their daily lives.

The clock Punchers and the Entertained can have battles over worship at times, but in reality neither are a part of the community.

The “Working Saved” – These are the people who are always at church. The church is “theirs.” Their mother paid for the land that the church sits on. They are fifth generation members of the church and are sick of the landslide down that the church is taking. They stand in the way of all kinds of innovations. New is wrong! There aren’t many of them, but they pay most of the tithe and hold most of the offices.

The Youngsters – They are battling the working saved as they attmempt to move the church in a new “hip” way. Often “hip” is simply moving the church forward. They grab ahold of all the lateest innovations. They read all the books by the church growth crowd. They attempt to move the church forward. They attempt to silence the working saved and

The Disciples are about ministry. They don’t care who gets to sit up front or who gets the accolades. They are growing in their relationship to God. They see the battle between the youngsters and the working saved as irrelevant to the real work of being Christ in the world. They question the whole idea of church being entertainment. In fact they wonder when christian growth will matter as much as attendance in the church records.

In a little while, God will have a remnant of disciples that will take the church from being simply a place to entertain spectators or inform the working saved, but to be a place of healing and growth so that the word will be true and a witness will come forth. In a little while…

Shallow Worship Materials

A Royal On Pastor Ryan Bell’s blog he has a discussion of the difficulty of preaching on the subject of worship. That discussion made me think about certain worship services that I have attended. I began to think specifically about the transition from theological songs to a lot of the “praise” songs that are sung in many churches today.

I can remember when a church I attended once moved from using Gospel songs for praise to the common praise songs. I can remember the transition from “Power in the Blood” or even “Through it All” to songs were the total lyrical content is in the title. ?Lord you are Holy, Yes You Are Holy, You are so holy to me. Lord you are Holy, Yes you are holy, Holy you are and holy you?ll be.? Then the word ?Holy? is changed to ?Righteous? and the whole song is sung again. Then sung successively through 3 other words and finally closes with ?All-That.? People are not told about the Christian meta-narrative. We are not formed in the knowledge of what God has done for us or for others…

Marva Dawn said ?shallow…worship materials?will not reveal the truth about God. Instead, these shallow materials will shape shallow theology and form us superficially.? Much better songs would help to place us in the ?meta-narrative.? I hasten to add that I am not talking about worship style. Before that move to praise songs some of the songs that were sung were contemporary Gospel songs about God’s work on our behalf and for others. Some spoke of some theological underpinings of the Christian faith. But somehow we joined the larger movement in the Christian world towards trivial songs with very little theological or even pastoral content.

Can the Christian church that is used to singing about the trinity, the power of God on our behalf, the grace of the Cross be changed by singing songs that just Praise God but never talk about why or who the God is we praise? Will the lyrical content change make us more shallow as Dawn has suggested? Does the fact that many churches of many denominational groups are singing these shallow songs mean that we have some difficult days ahead as a Christian church?

What do you Think?