Take a minute and do a visual inspection of the physical place you call church. For some this is an architectural inspiration, a landmark and yet for others it’s the local gymnasium of a small public school with flags of regional basketball championships. I have attended church in former banks, current bars, movie theaters, pastor’s living rooms and rented halls. Some offer the convenience of modern technology and comfy chairs while others offer horrid sounds bouncing off gym walls and fifth grader plastic excuses for chairs. The general idea here is that when it comes to the physical place we call church the “physical” can vary dramatically.
Now that you know what your church looks like, think about the schedule of events that will take place at any given service. What do the prayers look like, how many songs do you sing, do you stand, sit, dance or a little of all three? Some go 1 hour while others could go 4 and the use of this time can be so different. I just want you to think for a minute about how your church does this thing called church or mass.
Now take a minute to think about the spiritual environment of your church. Is your church free-spirited, Holy Spirit flowing or a little light on the spiritual side. This will most likely be dictated by the spiritual leadership of your church, though from time to time a church can be surprised by a sudden abundance of God’s active presence.
I have spend most of my time in more “non-religious” church environments which often do no have set rituals and follow a more progressive free spirited approach to church. If your service is quite predictable and does not vary too much you probably attend a more religious church or if attendance spikes at Christmas and Easter this might be another clue. I actually do not want to talk about the more religious church today but actually the “non-religious” variety.
If you consider your church to be of the “non-religious” type, you most likely have some upbeat worship music, casual attire or practices that are counter culture to the religious folks next door. Here is the question I have to ask, “Why does your church do the things it does?” If the intent is to appear non religious than I would suggest your non-religion is in fact religion.
Here is the thing, Jesus was a radical man who took on man’s religious cultures. I wonder what “church” would look like if he was leading a service in the “physical.” I wonder how many of our “non-religious” practices he would question. Since I am all about questions today here is another. How often do you ask God why you do the things you do in your service. Sure you might say, I wouldn’t do it this way if he didn’t say so in the first place. Just perhaps there could be some religion mixed in the “non-tradition.”
Hear me out for one more. Do your non-traditional practices have a proven formula? What I mean is, do you rely on your methods to meet with God.Advertisement