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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Churches go less formal to make people comfortable

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 Churches go less formal to make people comfortable



Comfortable is a theme that's becoming common among churches taking advantage of new, non-traditional spaces. Across the country, churches are springing up in unexpected locations — movie theaters, skating rinks, strip malls and old warehouses, among others — in an effort to welcome people who may not feel comfortable in more traditional settings.

Aaron Coe, vice president for mobilization for the North America Missions Board, said there are several factors contributing to these new churches, including a move away from traditionalism and the economic advantages of leasing space instead of building a church.

"We've seen everything from art galleries to schools," he said. "Schools and movie theaters are probably the most common. There is definitely a trend, and I think it's one that's here to stay." ...

read more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/story/2012-02-08/informal-churches/53002212/1


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/2/8 22:26Profile









 Re: Churches go less formal to make people comfortable

It's called "USER FRIENDLY", and basically it's all about increasing numbers, with the idea that numbers mean success...and in a way, they do...if you can get them to tithe, support the Priest-Class, and the agenda. Consider Joel Olsteen, Mark Driscoll, the Saddle-Back of Rick Warren or any Mega-Church for that matter.

Some have went so far as to add ashtrays in the "sanctuary",, many have a Starbucks type Kiosk right outside the foyeigh, that you can take your java inside as you lounge listening to the sermon. I have seen the circus brought in on Sunday mornings with real high-slide acts with skateboarders, and gorgeous Nubian ladies in tights dancing , Greek style to Gospel tunes.

There are those who encourage the bare-feet, the grunged out, the punked out [ Driscoll ]and the rocked out, as a means to "reach" youth....on "their level. This is all about non-offense, but alas, nothing about the gospel, and the power to save...and the holy conviction that causes a man or a woman to REPENT.

Jesus made a lot of people very uncomfortable, and this is what he said about those, like Him, who did also.

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

[ Because they made people uncomfortable by the Holy spirit that possessed them...]

"Rejoice!" and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."


Holiness and Salt go together, and truth be told, the world hates holiness , and those who carry it.


If the focus of the gospel message becomes the enhancement of the Bride, rather than Worship of the Groom, then everything focuses upon her, and she becomes narcissistic. Then, her success must stand on worldly standards...which really mean nothing in the eyes of God, but grief.

"I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. "

"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."

"REPENT FROM YOUR SINFULL SELFISH LIVES, DENY YOURSELF, AND FOLLOW ME! .....REPENT!"

THIS CAN MAKE SOME VERY INCOMFORTABLE.

 2012/2/8 23:56
KyleJBritt
Member



Joined: 2012/2/16
Posts: 1


 Re:

There are many ways to worship in a church setting that may be questionable to some, but people and culture are forever changing, that does not mean the gospel and the Word of God change. More traditional members of the church time after time get upset by many new "hip, modern, contemporary, etc" methods of worship.

The Church (capital C) as a whole CAN change with culture, as far as music, dress, etc. WITHOUT changing doctrine. It is important for people to realize the Gospel is the most relevant and real thing to all people and all nations, and when traditions and culture have influenced our doctrine and church, we are in a bad position and can become irrelevant to the community.

Keeping Scripture as highest authority but at the same time loving people and the community is what needs to happen. We will see!


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Kyle Britt

 2012/2/16 14:21Profile
Solomon101
Member



Joined: 2008/4/1
Posts: 512
America's Heartand

 Re:

Timely post Greg. One of the lines in your post quotes Aaron Coe stating-

"including a move away from traditionalism and the economic advantages of leasing space instead of building a church."

THAT is the biggest key I have seen in this area. A group of believers can have a corporate meeting space for several weekly services for only a few hundred dollars per week. That is a far preferable way to go when compared to trying to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for building programs. It seems to me that is being a much better steward as well. They then use home groups, the local coffee shop, library, etc. for small group, Bible Study and fellowship places. The "leased/rented" space is only used when there is a weekly joint /corporate meeting of all the small groups. This lets the church reach into its community through small groups, perhaps growing to a very large number of believers, and yet only have a very small rent fee that allows them to have a weekly time of worshipping together.

I like the trend. In gets far more good for the dollar and allows the majority of finances to be spent on things that further the churches mission rather than just bricks and mortar that sit empty most all week. In addition it also gets the church "out of the 4 walls" of itself and much more proactively engages the community they live in. Evangelism in the coffee shop, library, around peoples kitchen tables over a cup of coffee, etc. is usually far more effective than that carried on at a traditional pulpit and pew. Perhaps one reason is we tend to trust those we choose to connect with in day to day life. We may or may not trust a minister we really do not know... but we DO trust our neighbors, family, and friends that we have been able to see live lives that bear testimony to the fact that their faith is a real thing that is a key component to their life. I think it is a help to the church in its mission to evangelize and disciple.

It sounds a whole lot like Acts 5:42

Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

 2012/2/16 14:40Profile
Miccah
Member



Joined: 2007/9/13
Posts: 1752
Wisconsin

 Re:

BrotherTom,

Maybe I am misunderstanding what you wrote, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Are you stating that people who do not worship in a traditional sanctuary are lukewarm, or false believers?

Thanks!


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Christiaan

 2012/2/16 14:42Profile
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3385
East TN (for now)

 Re: Churches go less formal to make people comfortable

Quote:
KyleJBritt wrote:
It is important for people to realize the Gospel is the most relevant and real thing to all people and all nations, and when traditions and culture have influenced our doctrine and church, we are in a bad position and can become irrelevant to the community.


Welcome, KyleJBritt!! I agree, where EVER two or three are gathered together in "my" name, Jesus said, He will be in the midst of them. Thank the Lord for it!

God bless,
Lisa


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Lisa

 2012/2/16 15:06Profile
narrowpath
Member



Joined: 2005/1/9
Posts: 997
Germany NRW

 Re: Churches go less formal to make people comfortable

I have no issue with that. We only need a place to meet. I can do without a pulpit. No need to dress up (or down). Just men and women given to prayer, full of the Word and Spirit and godly elders to watch over the flock. Have a love meal together. Keep church simple, life is complicated enough.

If we want a religious performance we need a stage for a music band and OHP, sound system with PA and professional lighting, paid staff, newsletters, website, programmes for all ages and and and...

 2012/2/16 16:48Profile









 Re:

Don't forget the PowerPoint. Must always have poerpoint if ya gonna be hip.

 2012/2/16 16:53









 Re:

Two sides of error - the traditional protestant service and the megatainment style service. Some peoples idea of good old time religion only dates back to the reformation. We need to go another 1500 years back to the New Testament instead!

In Christ -Jim

 2012/2/16 17:07









 Re:

"I have no issue with that. We only need a place to meet. I can do without a pulpit. No need to dress up (or down). Just men and women given to prayer, full of the Word and Spirit and godly elders to watch over the flock. Have a love meal together. Keep church simple, life is complicated enough."

God bless you narrowpath! Amen. I would only add that the pulpit can become a dangerous enabler of the roman catholic clergy/laity system. Of course there are some men of God that this is not a snare to.

In Christ -Jim

 2012/2/16 17:09





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