Monday Morning Insights

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    Sunday Comes Every Week, it Seems

    Sunday Comes Every Week, it Seems

    I'm sure many of you have seen this video, produced by the production team at North Point.  It's really funny; and really true...

    I think it's good when we can laugh at ourselves.

    I wonder what this video would have looked like in 2000, or 1990, or 1987 when I took my first official church job.

    The thing that makes parody funny is the shades of truth. 

    I have two questions for you today.  Take a moment and post a quick comment below...

    1.  What about "Sunday's" today bother you? 

    2.  How many of the points in this video were part of your worship service yesterday?

     

    Have a great week!

    Todd

    Comments

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    1. Bill on Mon, May 10, 2010

      None of the points in the video were part of our worship yesterday, but somehow we managed to worship God anyway.  I’m not sure how it happens, but I’m not the One in charge.
      And we all deal with the tendency to turn Sunday into a packaged product, with our without “contemporvant” trappings.

    2. h3 on Mon, May 10, 2010

      we played this video in church yesterday… I commented on the video saying something to the effect of, “we can recognize our church in parts of this video, but may we all be reminded that all churches do what they do intentionally, agree or not with their reasoning - I hope this video helps us, with some humor, to remember to make sure we are never going through the motions when we come to worship.”

    3. Lori on Mon, May 10, 2010

      I totally agree with h3.  It doesn’t matter it the opening song is heavy drums or loud choir, if the offering is preceded by an unknown song played by the band or an unknown arrangement played by the pianist and organist, if the pastor wears a t-shirt or tie to relate to the congregation, if the pastor uses video or an illustration book, or if the closing song is filled with tear-jerking strings or tear-jerking “Just As I Am” over and over. In other words traditional and contemporary services generally follow the same prescription for the service.  We must be careful to ensure that every element is an act of worship and not meant to evoke a false emotional response or done out of habit.

      On a lighter note - it was a ridiculously funny video.

    4. Joel Sarrault on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Hilarious way to start Monday! 
      We don’t do big bands (smaller, mostly aucustic), stages, and
      drippy altar calls…and guess what?? We’re still growing!!
      It’s amazing what the Holy Spirit will accomplish when we center
      ourselves on the Word and Sacraments (Protestant variety here) and don’t get so wrapped/warped in the packaging.
      Don’t misunderstand, I appreciate good music be it organ hymns
      or Christ-centered contemporary, but too much of current “church culture” is all about catching the newest wave. 
      After 21 great/growing years in the ministry I stick fairly close to the “wave” Jesus started in His great commission and Pentecost simplicity.

    5. Cheezewhiz on Mon, May 10, 2010

      What bothered me about the video was that content didn’t matter. Too often it’s the form, and form alone, that matters. The video was a template and contemporvant churches (and others, too, as mentioned earlier) have mistaken the template for true worship. I recently left my contemporvant church because the reality of Jesus and his life was being subsumed by form and show. It’s supposedly all for the sake of “excellence” but it was harder and harder to find Jesus there. This Sunday was the total opposite of that video, nothing professional whatsoever. Lots of old ladies. Lots of care and love. I’d almost forgotten.

    6. h3 on Mon, May 10, 2010

      I think it is worth mentioning that the video is produced by a church that, at least in method, is the victim of its own satire. I believe that North Point is saying, “hey, let’s make sure we are going through the motions here. Some of you may have started to come here because of the form, but don’t miss the message”. I also think they are telling themselves (staff), “hey, let’s not miss the message, for form’s sake”.

      I have no problem with what they “do” on a typical Sunday, nor do I have a problem with the way any other church does things. UNLESS, they are missing the message and going through the motions.

    7. h3 on Mon, May 10, 2010

      oops I meant to say “hey, letís make sure we are NOT going through the motions here…”

    8. CS on Mon, May 10, 2010

      When I saw this video, I couldn’t help repost it immediately to my friends because this was the exact model, down to the minutiae, that my old church used.  Everything from the hip glasses to the long pauses.

      And while it made me laugh uproariously, it also saddens me that there must be enough churches out there that follow this sort of church-in-a-box packaging that it is what we have come to expect.


      CS

    9. Joel Smith on Mon, May 10, 2010

      This is where I give my opinion and then post a link to my blog (http://www.joelandleslie.blogspot.com) where you can go read my opinion again.  Then I hit the send button and celebrate how funny I am.  smile


      I thought it was a pretty funny video and agree with H3, it is a good reminder to ask whether or not we are just going through the motions.

    10. Kim Aliczi on Mon, May 10, 2010

      #1 - I thought this was hillarious!
      #2 - kudos to Northpoint for being able to poke fun at themselves
      #3 - I don’t see anything wrong at all with the “model.”  Church services typically have have various types of liturgy, this is just different.  So long as the focus remains on the Main Thing and they’re not just “going through the motions” - I say keep on keeping on!

    11. Daniel S. Ferguson on Mon, May 10, 2010

      What’s amazing to me here is that many of the people who would use this video are those who think their worship service is any different. They’ll say “we use acoustic instruments” or “we’re a more traditional church” to separate themselves from the straw-man church in the video. But, over the course of my life, I have never been exposed to a church which did not formulate its Sunday morning routine to a fault. It seems that almost every church, in the end, succumbs to the idolatry of preferences.

      It’s easy to laugh at videos like this and say that’s somebody else, but really it’s all of us. We all cling to those things which make us feel close to God, until we’re just clinging to the things and God is long behind us. It’s always strange to me when people say “That music is worshipful” or “That service was worshipful.” People are worshipful; things, even actions, are not. Even the most traditionally and universally worshipful expressions can be every bit as idolatrous as Baal worship if the worshiper holds the value of the action above the value of God. I just pray that those who see this video will point its sharp satire at themselves and repent of any idolatry in their hearts.

    12. Brian on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Look, folks….

      STOP SHOWING THIS TO PEOPLE!  DON’T BLOG IT, TWEET IT, FACEBOOK IT…DON’T SHOW IT TO ANYONE BUT SPECIFIC “INSIDERS!”

      The reason is simple: Those on-stage and behind the scenes never show or tell the crowd how it’s done.  Never.  It ruins it.

      North Point folks…outstanding work, but this should have stayed at the conference.  This is “family business”...“insider” stuff.  While most of us know and understand the original purpose and target audience for this video, its release to the general population is likely damaging.  People, including many excellent examples in your own building, have worked for years to discern which barriers and arguments are artificial and remove them; releasing this video to the general population damages their lifelong efforts.  Rather than entertaining fellow magicians at a magicians’ get-together, you’ve become that “Breaking The Magicians’ Code” tv show and given skeptics “it’s smoke and mirrors” ammunition.  Can you *not* see this being used *against* the cause of Christ?

      Now, to those of you who (are you kidding me??!) showed it to your church—WHAT…IN…(FROM)...HELL…WERE…YOU…THINKING??!! 

      (Hey, I heard a pastor say that over the weekend…I can surely say it on the internet!) 

      You don’t have to answer…I know.  And you know…if you’re being honest with yourself.

      You know that the main reason you showed that was because of your fear and jealousy.

      You know you can’t produce a service like that, and you’re mad about it.  You know you and your church attract only a relative few, none of whom has the intelligence, talent, or skillset to do it.  And, in your human weakness, you psychologically compensate…you make excuses, maybe even invent theology and/or doctrine to explain it, and, if you’re being completely honest with us and yourselves, spend your life being angry at God for not equipping *you* how He’s equipped them. 

      And you FEAR…..man, you KNOW you fear!  You know you’ve already lost your best members to churches like this, and you FEAR!  You look out at the white, silver, grey, and skin-colored heads of your congregation, and you FEAR it’s only a matter of time.  You have no idea what you’ll do when your church shrinks or dies out of existence…you have no idea what you’ll do to provide for yourself and your family, and you fear!  You question yourself, your calling, and God, Himself…..

      And, even worse, you attack.  Out of fear and desperation, you attack churches like this.  You ridicule them….like I said, maybe you even invent / find / discover theology and doctrine to try to protect yourself and your small, dying church (God help you).  You find any way you can to try to differentiate yourself and your church…unfortunately, you do that *not* in a good way.  You try to portray yourself as “more serious,” “more right,” “more true,” “more accurate,” or “more Acts-like.”  You’re lying, and, deep down, you know it.  But you’re desperate…you gotta do something. 

      And, so, you ridicule.  God help you, you show this video or others like it.  You come out of it and try to make clear your supposed “superiority.”  But is it not possible—or even likely—that, as you say and pray “God, thank you that we’re not like *those* people” on behalf of yourself and your congregation, you’re hearing back, “Woe to you, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but, inside, are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity.  In the same way, on the outside, you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

      You need to repent.  Seriously.  Very much so.


      But, back to the beginning, stop passing this video around in public, folks.  A whole lot of bad can come of it.

    13. h3 on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Brian, are you kidding me? Don’t put words in other people’s mouths, and cast motives onto others. Wow, just wow.

    14. Kim Aliczi on Mon, May 10, 2010

      #1 - Jesus doesn’t need us to be His PR agents.
      #2 - Don’t think outsiders don’t already know the deal.  The real sad part is we (the “insiders”) think they don’t.

      Just sayin’...

    15. CS on Mon, May 10, 2010

      Brian:

      My sarcasm meter’s gone nuts.  It can’t tell if this is a well-worded caricature or is actually a polemic.  If the former, I doff my cap to you.  If the latter, dude, you have issues.


      CS

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