|Richmond, VA from the east side of town.|
I know it is called "vacation"...but no matter how hard I try...I never really stop thinking about folks at church. Even simple things like driving down the street can suddenly spawn thoughts that keep me up half the night thinking about exciting new ideas for Sunday morning. And it wasn't much different "vacationing" in Richmond.
Here is a picture of something that reduced the number of hours I slept while "vacationing". Before posting this picture, I questioned whether or not I should Photoshop out the telephone number and website...but figured if they were confident enough to put it on a banner...they wouldn't mind me posting it on my blog and sharing it with folks.
I'm not gonna go on a rant about all the things this banner says to me about consumerism in church...or delve into deep thoughts about all of the possible characteristics of a "Jazz Vesper" (which made me giggle thinking about Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs in church)...I'll even fight the temptation of revisiting all of my previous postings about gimmicks that trick people into going to worship...but I can't help but try to figure out why churches do this sort of thing. And I think I've got it.
I had a great conversation with my father this week about corporate worship. It was good to talk "church" with him. We explored the gifts of the church and how personalities influence church growth. In our conversation, my dad helped me realize something that I hadn't quite figured before. Romans 12 worship...has negated Rev. 4 worship for most churches. I've said similar things before...but it sorta hit me like a ton of bricks this week. Pastors are much quicker to preach about serving others than they are about how to express appreciation to God. I don't blame them I guess...if I wasn't such a worship nerd...I'd probably rather hear a sermon about how to positively influence someone else's life than how to engage in prayer with others (who might not be motivated to pray with me).
Perhaps churches aren't really seeing worship gatherings as anything more than a means by which we train people to serve others? Perhaps it is too difficult to actually move people to passionately sing/pray/dance/read the bible and...since the Great Commission doesn't mention doing those things...well, we can probably do without it and still make it to heaven...right?
Whatever the case...I'm intrigued. Perhaps the next time I'm home...I'll find out what a "Jazz Vesper" is? Yeah...that's a great idea. I'm sure it would be a positive influence on my sleeping habits.
Question: Would you be more interested in learning from your Pastor about 1) HOW to WORSHIP...or 2) HOW to SERVE others?