AN HONEST INTERVIEW WITH THE CHURCH
Question 7) Is the church still relevant today? And why do Christians like holding hands? 😉
I’m asking a double barrel question here. The first one is the weightier one and the second one more in jest. Do you think the church is still relevant today? What makes you suggest your answer? And dude (can I call “clergy” that?) – What’s with the holding hands in church? It’s rather awkward!
Haha! Okay, okay… give me a moment to compose myself… that whole holding hands thing… trust me, I feel just as awkward. (Hence the chuckle.) Hmm, I wonder myself. Do church leaders or committee’s actually think and talk about that? Because, I don’t disagree with you… the holding hands thing is weird and even awkward.
However… if it was spoken about, or mentioned before it actually happens in the service… there may be some sort of redeeming that strange action.
In some of the churches, I have worked in… I have seen how some of the church folk – really like that part. They hold hands with conviction and smile cheesily across at me. (Thank goodness I can handle it. Barely. haha!) – But what about the visitors?
If I look at it not cynically – that expression is one of community. People like that belong. So in holding hands, they’re reminded of that. We are here for one another. There is solidarity in that.
Take Manchester City. Their fans do a bizarre thing too. But the people there aren’t freaked out. They go crazy with enthusiasm! (And yet, that’s acceptable?)
Question is – do churches constantly explain why they do it – especially – when there are new people in church. Just so it doesn’t freak them out.
I think what is more “disturbing” is how casual each person (speaks) or sings the blessing/ benediction at the end:
“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore. Amen.”
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…” (Based on Jude 24)
Those words need to carry more sincerity when we speak them over other people’s lives. It’s not just some “weekly words” we have memorized. It’s a mandate. It’s a call. We should offer those words with conviction over each person in our church family.
Yes, yes… I like that! What you suggested about the Benediction. I’ve notice in many churches – how people just aimlessly say or sing “words” that are on the screen. Familiarity with the words of scripture can make us lose the conviction they carry. Now to my first part of that question:
“Is the church relevant?”
Well after 2000+ years… it’s still going… so that must be a testimony of something valuable and powerful. And relevant.
But, yes, I’d agree… perhaps some approaches of the church – need to be remodelled.
Because, I and I am sure many pastors and regular church goers – have noticed – how people are less and less inclined to attend and be part of a church community.
So there is something that needs to be shifted? Changed?
The “Mega Church” movement has taken off quite well in some ways. They’re “trendy” and some real cool people go to those churches…
But some of those churches seem to approach faith like a business and an institution… and not a sincere relationship with God. [See question 8 (next week) – for further discussion on that.]
How should a church be relevant / or how can it be relevant? If it is dealing with these things / topics – then I think the church is still pretty relevant:
i) Is the church helping in the community? Helping and reaching its community’s needs. Needs like that of: poverty and unemployment?
ii) Is the church alleviating the problem in broken homes (divorce and abuse)?
iii) Is the church helping people with depression / loneliness / hopelessness / self-esteem?iv) Is the church – helping to add VALUE to the country?
v) Is the church caring for the earth / the environment?
vi) Are churches teaching about Jesus? His brilliant example of love and selflessness.
vii) Are churches tackling the difficult questions people have?
viii) Are churches bringing awareness to the Creator God? God is not distant…
When churches are just about “judging people” and “sin management” – then I believe they have it wrong…