Thursday, July 26, 2007


I came across this yesterday. The link to the original is on the page.


I think the writer makes some good points about these questions. Some of the 'requirements' mentions seem to be rather shallow.

For myself, take this one--

2. Are people greeting me as a job or a joy?

I have to admit to having a certain small distaste for the whole 'greet people at the door' thing. It's not that it's wrong, but that I don't care for it. I would rather not have to run a gamut of hand-shakers and back-patters in order to enter a church.

A couple of months back, I went to a certain church for the first time (I had actually been in the building before, but for other reasons). I did manage to get in the building itself without incident, but on getting to the foyer of the chapel, there were people standing outside of it, and one man, obviously a greeter, practically jumped towards me in some kind of effort to greet me.

I don't want to impune (sp) anything about him, his assignment or his intentions, but it was almost unnerving.

It's not that I don't believe in caring for people or in making them feel welcome, and if for most people that does make them feel welcome, then so be it. I can accept that.

So, for me, that 'requirement' is not one of mine.

5. Is there spirited music playing as people gather?
6. Does the music move me?

There is something rather modern-day about such a question. If a church was playing somber organ music, for example, would that not be acceptable? Would such music not be moving?

The whole music thing is frustrating for me, especially as someone who did study music for a while. I like music, I enjoy it, but how much it is emphasized by some religious teachers is unsettling to me.

I do not listen to what is called 'praise and worship' music. I have listened to it at times, but I do not now, except when a church I'm at sings a p&w chorus. It all sounds santized, generic, the same.

Perhaps I am not any better then the guy and his 'requirements', though. It's just that what he may consider 'moving' I consider 'generic'.

9. Is there a printed outline with Scripture already printed on it?
11. Does the message title promise a relevant topic I am interested in?

I think the '...leaven' guy may be a bit unfair with his criticism of these, though they are silly 'requirements'.

15. Is the service no more than 71 minutes?

I am sympathetic to this one. I have sat through very long sermons in the past, and I don't think this 'requirement' is completely unreasonable. I can see where it may become selfish, but so can the idea the 'longer is better'.

The '...leaven' writer does make a good point at the beginning, about what things aren't mentioned--things like what the church's beliefs and doctrines are. That such things were omitted does cause me to raise the eyebrows. Are the superficials now more important then the essentials? I think some superficials, like a good Sunday School or good music, are fine, but only if the essentials of sound beliefs and doctrine are in place.

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