Creating in Isolation

In the discussion at the Visual Worship Roundtable someone mentioned the fact that the foundation of Jesus’ ministry was relationships and his interactions with people. In the creative aspect of ministry, it’s very easy for our ministry to seldom involve relationships and interactions with people. We can spend hours sitting at a desk creating a website, a brochure, a video, a motion background, etc.

I wonder if sometimes we spend so much time creating that we forget about just being, about being in relationships and community with others. If we don’t foster and seek out those relationships and interactions with people soon our creations become irrelevant because we are out of touch with reality, with people. It becomes difficult for our creations to speak to life when we’re not living it away from our computer screens.

How much time do you spend each day in front of your computer screen? How much do you spend with people? Does that need to change?

Who are Worship Services For?

Who are worship services for?

That question has been floating around Christian church conversations recently. I read one thing and I think they’re for believers. I listen to something else and I think they’re for seekers. I read Scripture and I can see where people base their arguments for one side or the other.

But, for the time being I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t have to be an either/or. It can be a both/and. And I think it should be. I think most churches want to pick one or the other because that makes planning worship and writing sermons a whole lot easier. Intentionally planning worship and sermons that draw in and edify both groups is difficult! But I think it’s something we need to strive for because we are called to share the Gospel with all people and to make disciples. That whole making disciples part is an ongoing process. In order to fulfill that mission God has given us I think we have to have worship services that are created for both believers and seekers.

How do we do this? Well, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure. I have some ideas, but I’m still trying to figure it out. I do know we can’t hide who we are as a church. We have to be authentic. We have to be open and up front about our theology. We can’t be worried about offending people with the Gospel – it is offensive to those who don’t believe it. We have to go deep with the message but also leave room for questions – give people a reason to go even deeper on their own to the level they’re at on their journey of faith. When we go deep and use “pastor talk” we have to teach it. We have to guide people to a deeper understanding of what is not “pastor talk” but really Bible language. We have to remember that seekers are in a foreign land and we need to help guide them through. We also have to remember that no matter how many times the believer has been in the land their is always something new to learn from may seem like the “basics.”

We also can’t expect worship to be the only thing we do, the only way we feed people spiritually. We have to create other environments that are more tailored for one group or another. Environments which allow us to be even more intentional about discipleship.

And then I get to the end of all this thinking about who worship is for and I think to myself, is worship really for anyone? Or is it for God? Do we come to worship for God to serve us? Or do we come to worship in order to serve God?

Clearly this conversation isn’t over. Thoughts?

Is Gray Our New Favorite Color?

“Well, that’s a bit of a gray area.”

I was catching up on some blog reading this weekend and came across that phrase a lot. Almost too much. And it got me thinking.

Now, I get that there are things in the Bible that are adiophra – not really addressed – a.k.a. gray areas. However, I think oftentimes we abuse this phrase. Instead of using it to say it’s an area we can’t really say with certainty is right or wrong and therefore have absolutely no right to tell others whether it’s right or wrong, I wonder if we use it as an excuse. I wonder if we use it as an excuse to allow ourselves to satisfy our desires without guilt. You know like if we are 100% honest with ourselves we probably shouldn’t be doing it but the Bible doesn’t explicitly say it’s forbidden so we call it a gray area and all is well?

I’m not saying everything is black and white, but I’m not sure saying so much is a gray area is the right way to go either. What do you think? Are we using our gray crayons just a little too much?