Wednesday, 29 June 2011
My Senior Pastor mentioned this week that he's observed that people are arriving later and later to church services. I've noticed it too. It's frustrating, no doubt, when kids walk in to Children's Church fifteen minutes before the service is over. As if their parents would send them to school for fifteen minutes and expect them to learn everything they're supposed to for the day. Or they would show up an hour late to a movie they were going to see. But I digress.
One person comments on my Pastor's observation, with the following quote,
"For many, it's the contemporary music and loud music that distracts them from authentic worship, so they just come in after worship is over. Will someone get wisdom from above to solve this conflict?"
I love the hymns. I love Gregorian chants. I love rock and roll. I love Big Band. I love singing a capella. And I love "contemporary worship music." So I am not in any way putting one style of music above another.
But seriously? I could make up any number of excuses for why I may be distracted during worship.
The Worship Leader's tie is too bright. The piano us out of tune. The vocalists aren't singing the right harmony. The worship team did all four verses of the hymn at half the tempo it's supposed to be played. We sat in silence for 10 minutes and waited on the Lord, and after 3 minutes, I got bored. I think we sing this song too much. The words aren't up on the screen in time. I don't know this song. I'm hungry and am thinking about where to go to lunch after service. I don't feel like it.
Any number of things can distract us from worshiping the Lord. But if the first (or only) time you're worshiping the Lord is on a Sunday when they're playing your kind of music, you're missing out. Yes, I understand, people LOVE to complain about worship music in the church - it's too loud, it's too old, it's too slow, there's too many words - but people, WE NEED TO GET OVER OURSELVES. It's not about OUR preference. It's about our HEARTS. Come, ready to give God glory, no matter what happens in the service. No matter if they sing in Latin, or tongues, or dance around with flags. Worship the Lord with all that you are - THAT's why we were created.
And don't teach your kids that it's OK to be 45 minutes-1 hour late. To church. To anywhere. It's just rude. Gathering with fellow believers, again, is more than just about giving you the good feelies for another seven days. We come together to exalt the Lord as a body of believers - and if one part of the body isn't there - we feel it. Going to church is about more than just us.
So now that I feel convicted of the things I've been ranting about...
God, help me, this week, to be less focused on music styles, atmospheres, or lyrics, but let my heart focus on worshiping you in everything that I do. Let me not do what I should because of what my opinions, feelings, or expectations tell me, but increase my hunger and desire to worship you for who you are - without thinking about me at all. More you, less me. This week. Amen.
Do you find yourself getting caught up in the details of Sunday morning rather than just enjoying the experience? When you start to rant about the things that bother you, do you feel convicted?