Has the Church Changed? Or, Have I?

Has the church changed? Or, have I?

I haven’t been to an official Sunday church service in months, but I strive to go to chapel at work each week. Today was the first chapel service of the Spring 2019 semester, and it felt different, but not in a good way. Service seemed flat, predictable, and uninspired. I wanted to return to my office almost as soon as I had arrived.

God does not change, so it was either me or the church community here that was not what it used to be or what it should be.

What was missing? I looked at the screen that displayed song lyrics and announcements,  I observed the pastor, and suddenly, I didn’t want fancy images on a screen or jokes or songs that have too many words but little substance. I wanted sincere Christianity, humility, and authenticity without the frills that are designed to impress audiences accustomed to entertainment.

After a while, the worship leaders sang “the name of Jesus,” and they repeated this phrase over and over. This was my answer. I just want Jesus. I don’t want the extra steps so many churches here go through to dress up service. These trappings are meaningless and remove our focus from the only reason why I even go to chapel: to worship Jesus Christ.

6 Comments

  1. How do you define “God does not change?” Does that mean we as Christians are supposed to have church the same as in the past? What should the church community be like in light of our constantly changing culture? I find that churches today are struggling to stay “cool and hip” so that’s why you see the flashing lights and smoke because they feel that’s the way you keep the seats full, otherwise no one will come (especially the younger generation that has a constant need to be entertained). I’ve even heard people say we live in a “post-Church age” where the church is no longer necessary. Some churches are even conforming and accepting immoral lifestyles and choices all in an attempt to stay relevant. How does the Church be the community we were created to be in light of our current world?

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    1. So many good questions! I would say that God’s character, His voice, and His manner of interacting with humanity doesn’t change.

      I don’t think the church should be theatrical just to fill seats. I think a church that is operating in the gifts of the spirit will thrive without our fancy graphics. If people want to be in church, they will come.

      I haven’t heard of the “post-Church age.” What does that mean for the Church not to be necessary? Is that just the church in the traditional Sunday meeting definition? Or, does that mean something else?

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      1. I haven’t heard the word either, but a guy was on the news boasting about how far our country has advanced in science, medicine, and technology concluding that there is no need for God or the church because of what is able to be done today. It was interesting because he didn’t say the exact point where everything changed and we (humans) became self-sufficient. I’ve heard arguments like that plenty of times especially with the wide acceptance of gay marriage and other immoral views. The church seems to be silent about it all feeling that since God is love, then the behavior is fine.

        I agree though, the church shouldn’t need theatrics to woo people, but it seems like they feel that is what needs to be done to win people. I agree too that God’s character, voice, interaction with humans hasn’t changed, but the way we communicate with each other has. I think maybe our impersonal ways of communicating with each other affects how we communicate with God.

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      2. Ah, I see what you mean. I’ve heard that argument, too, but when I do, I internally roll my eyes. We are so morally depraved.

        The last sentence of the second paragraph is interesting. I’ll have to think about that one. Trying to think of an example.

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