Random Notes From What I’m Reading

The story of my life is the story of my faith…

Seven Church Cliches That Need To Go

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The first few years I was a teacher I used to get bored during my summer break because the days were long as I was stuck home waiting for my friends to get off work. Last summer I found out a great way to spend my afternoons it is to sit outside and read. During the school year things are hectic between teaching responsabilities, coaching, writing responsibilities and keeping a social life so I now look forward to summer break and the opportunity it presents to kick back and enjoy a good book.

This spring I logged onto Relevent Media and purchased a dozen books and the first one I cracked open this summer was Mathew Paul Turner’s book “The Christian Culture Survival Guide.” Between the great insight combined with an amazing sense of humour that had me laughing out loud I’ve been able to read through this book in less than a week.

One of my favourite chapters was “The Worship Service” and here’s a quick excerpt where Turner talked about Seven Church Cliches That Need To Go:

1. Announcements in the middle of praise and worship – There is nothing more annoying than to be worshipping God in song one second and hearing about Tuesday night’s senior potluck dinner the next. Either put all the announcements in the church bulletin or don’t mention them until after the service is over. I can’t imagine Jesus stopping in the middle of His beatitudes and letting everyone know that Peter and John would be hosting a Saturday afternoon fish fry.

2. Praise and worship flags – Note to pastor or praise and worship leader We don’t like the pink, purple and blue “Hosanna” flags – especially when they’re carried and waved around during singing time. Let us do the praising: we don’t need any loud-coloured flag to do that for us.

3. “Visitor” time – Attention all churches: When you’re visiting a church, the last thing you want to do is raise your hand and let the entire church know that you’re visiting for the first time. We don’t want to wear a name tag. And we don’t want the pastor to come by and visit us. If you happen to visiting a church and you’ve been “spotted” by an usher as a “first timer,” try putting the little name tag they give you on the end of your nose and see what they say.

4. Praise and worship guitar solos – Praise and worship is a time of one-on-one intimacy with God. We don’t ever need to have an early-90’s-styled, power-guitar solo in the middle of “Lord, I live your name on high” – ever.

5. Interpretive dancing – I know David danced before the Lord – and I’m sure he was great – but fourteen-year-old wannabe ballerinas displaying their dance-recital moves to MercyMe’s “I can only imagine” during a church service is always awkward.

6. Five-minute sermon prayers – Usually it’s the head deacon who stands beneath the pulpit and delivers the very long, drawn-out, prayerful pre-sermonette. No matter who it is, people who pray church prayers that last longer than two minutes in length are probably bringing glory to themselves and not to god.

7. Any mention of sports by the pastor – Okay, I’ll let pastors slide on the retelling of the story about the guy in Chariots of Fire, but that’s it. All other sporting events and stories should be declared off limits. I knot it makes you feel cool and relevant to talk about your love for a particular team, but no one cares that your team won or lost the day before. We don’t want you to wear your team’s jersey on Sunday mornings, and to be honest, we’ve never thought you were really masculine enough to even like sports.

If you’re heading away to a cottage for a weekend or if you want a book to read this summer, make sure you check out The Christian Culture Survival Guide.

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Written by Ryan

July 15, 2008 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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