Yesterday my wife was out-of-town and went to a new church where she was (I’m not naming names). This church is a couple years old and seems to be doing well.
Afterwards, I called and asked her what she thought. She said, “It was weird. All they did was ‘worship.'” “What do you mean,” I asked. “I mean the service was an hour long, and the entire thing was worship, from beginning to end. We sat down for 2 minutes in the middle to take communion, but we stood for the other 58 minues, and the whole time we were singing.”
Now it’s easy for me to put myself in the head of the pastors of that church: It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It would be low attendance. It’s nice to have a week off of having to prepare a sermon and produce creative pieces. Maybe they ended a series the week before, and you don’t want to start a new series on a low attendance day. Plus, “our people will probably love it.”
And all of that might be true. Well, my guess is that maybe half of their people loved it, and the other half most likely hated it. My wife found it annoying – she kept waiting for something else to happen, waiting for a sermon, waiting for anything. And she IS a Christian. AND she said that the band and worship leader were really good. AND she liked everything else about this church. And, AGAIN, she is a Christian.
I wonder how any non-Christians who happened to show up that day felt. Even if there was only one, I wonder if it made that person say, “The music was good, but I’m not gonna go back. One hour of standing there, listening to songs I don’t even know was a bit much. Plus I wanted some help for my life, but they didn’t give me any.” And I wonder if maybe that was that guy’s last attempt at going to church.
In an earlier post I talked about the Joe Dimaggio principle: Always keep in mind that person who is there for the first time. They’re forming their opinion of you on that day, while all your regulars are not. All your regulars will have all eternity to sing to God, the first time person may not.
Maybe you didn’t sing for your entire service yesterday … but what did you do that may have confused or annoyed or bored a first-time person???
– Featured on newchurches.com