Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Some Interesting Observations
As I have wandered into various churches over the past six months, I have discovered that churches have their own DNA, personality, and mission/vision statement. They have different kinds of worship, attire, and preaching. I have been attending church all of my life and there certainly has been an evolution from what church used to be to what church is today.
For many of us, going to church was the highlight of the week. We dressed in our “Sunday best” and went to the house of God to honor Him. We honored Him in the way we dressed, in worship, preaching, and alter call for people who wanted prayer or to give their lives to Jesus. If someone wanted to be saved and baptized, it took place immediately—not six months later after attending classes.
So what’s changed?
Many churches have become more hip and in step with the culture. They have lost much of what God intended church to be. Pastors and worship leaders have given up suits and ties for blue jeans and baggy shirts. The cool thing to do now is to look and dress like 20 year-olds. By all means, those in leadership must do anything and everything to “relate” to the millennials. The sad thing is that men who are not prone to dress in denim are expected to change who they have always been to accommodate the new dress code for pastors.
Oh my goodness! What on earth has happened to worship?
I spent years in lively Charismatic churches, so I totally get praise and worship and enthusiasm—even dancing in the aisles. BUT so much of what goes on now in the name of “worship” is so ridiculous that churchgoers can’t even stand to be in the sanctuary. Baby grand pianos have been moved out and drums and electric guitars have been moved in. There is certainly nothing wrong with drums and electric guitars, but there is something wrong when music is so loud people have to wear ear protection.
You know the worship experience is horrible when people drop out of church and stay home because the worship experience is so out of control. So my question is, “Where are the pastors and their oversight?” Do they not have eyes to see and hears to hear? Maybe they can’t hear because their hearing has been damaged by the nonsense loud “worship” that is driving droves of people home.
I even heard a story recently where a worship leader was reading the scripture and the drummer started banging on the drums so loudly that people could not hear the reading of the scripture. Whatever happened to the blessed hymns that have been lifted to the Lord for centuries? Rather than worship God with hymns of glory we have traded them for songs written by “want-to-be” songwriters that repeat the same words over and over and say nothing. There are beautiful songs of worship and praise written by talented artists who usher in the presence of God.
Where are these beautiful songs?
And sermons? Whatever happened to preachers teaching the Word of God full-on without apology? No jokes and wasted time telling stories no one cares about hearing. Most pastors don’t have more than twenty minutes in an hour to preach, so make it count.
Whatever happened to pastors carrying about the lost and baptizing the perishing? I know of a person who contacted a pastor on several occasions to be baptized and talk about salvation, and the only response they received was from the admin assistant. The pastor was too busy playing with metrics and church games to be concerned about a man who wanted to talk about salvation and be baptized. The person reached out to another pastor at a different church and this particular pastor was also too busy to be bothered. Neither pastor picked up the phone to have a “gospel conversation” or to show any concern whatsoever to the person who was ready to give their lives to Jesus and be baptized. They were too busy and important chasing the millennials and wearing their rodeo clothes and banging on their drums.
And we wonder why church participation is down and churches are closing their doors??
Are you kidding me? Older people couldn’t care less about going to church, because it has become so irrelevant and culturally compromised they had rather stay home and seek the face of God in peace and actually have an encounter with Him.
And whatever happened to the Holy Spirit? He’s not invited to church!! He might mess up the program and take over the service. Many churches do have the quiet presence of the Lord (if it’s not totally destroyed by the rock-concert worship), but where is the weighted glory of God that’s so heavy you can barely breathe or stand in His presence.
Where is the power and glory of Jesus that is so strong people are healed from standing in the sanctuary, saved, and baptized in the Holy Spirit?
I long to see the day the Church of Jesus Christ is full of His glory, honor and power and where the Holy Spirit can operate in His fullness.
Only then will we see revival come to America.
Only then will we stop playing church games and get on with the Kingdom of God.