What It Means When Your Church’s Worship Isn’t Cool

I have a pastor friend who serves a campus ministry. He has an intriguing way of piquing interest in his worship services. Every week he places a sign outside the door of the church for passers-by to see. It always has an interesting statement or question relating to the week’s worship. This week the sign said: “What is the best thing about church?”

It was interesting that this happened to be the question today. This very day I heard through the grapevine that a family no longer attends our church because the adolescents in the family think it’s boring.  So they attend the local mega church that has lights, sets, a professional band, and an attractive young pastor with an untucked shirt.

Here are my honest responses to that revelation:

  • It cuts like a knife. I probably take it more personally than I should that someone has left our church. But I (and our support staff, volunteers, and musicians) put a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears, into developing lively worship and engaging sermons. Like it or not, it’s personal.
  • You can’t be all things to all people. If entertainment is what you’re looking for, it’s probably best to look for a church other than ours. While our worship is engaging, and some would say “relevant,” it’s not going to be a highly polished production. I don’t believe it should be. Yes, it should be done with excellence, and well done, because we ought to be giving the Lord our best. But what’s more important is that the content of worship is filled with the Word of God.
  • Our church will never be able to compete with “mega churches.” We don’t have the personnel. Our resources are far more scarce. We’re not able (or willing) to “sell” our church with expensive gifts and incentives that draw people in. In an easily distracting world people tend to gravitate toward things that are more sparkling and flashy. Our church is not that.
  • I wish people would give small and medium-sized church’s a chance. They are filled with people who care. Most everyone knows your name. Your gifts and talents are needed in a significant way to move the ministry forward. You can have a real impact.

My church is filled with people who are ready, willing, and able to welcome you with open arms. I am pleased to serve one of the friendliest church’s of which I have ever been a part. They want you to be part of the family, and they’re genuinely concerned when they haven’t seen you in weeks.

Instead of turning away from a church like this, why don’t you give it a try? You just might like it.

What are your thoughts?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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11 thoughts on “What It Means When Your Church’s Worship Isn’t Cool

  1. It might be the case that those of us at small and medium sized churches don’t do a good job of trumpeting what we ARE really good at. At smaller churches you are not a random face in the crowd, you’re family. You’re also less likely to be pigeonholed into a “youth” service or a “seeker” service. There is great blessing in broader fellowship and multigenerational ministry that is a strength of smaller ministries.

  2. I agree! Our church is growing and our young pastor is pastor to all ages. We have beautiful traditional music and Sunday school. Those in volunteer ministry work hard, but there is a large mega church nearby and I am personally hurt when we lose people. Maybe, that’s just my problem, but I learned long ago about the gifts received at church and I need these. I guess I wish others would see how important these gifts are.

  3. Amen! I love our medium size church. I really feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and I think anyone visiting would see how much we love and value each other. Mega churches might be a safe space for some who are dipping their toes in the water, but to be truly successful I think they need a way to foster genuine intimacy and community. Some will find a way to do this, but some won’t. Being a Christian means you are willing to be vulnerable and exposed, relying not on your own strength or skills but willing to just put yourself out there, imperfect and limited as you are, relying on God to make up the difference, which He will. His power is made perfect in weakness.

  4. If the mission of the Church is to make disciples, how does that happen in the “mega” setting? (I’m not saying it doesn’t, I’m wondering about the process in that setting.) If someone isn’t interested in the process of becoming a disciple (which can be, at times, boring), then they may be inclined to look elsewhere for whatever it is they want.
    I realize how arrogant that sounds. I am always reminded of the question posed to Luther by Eck: “Are you alone wise?”
    But, I wonder how this discussion would go if it moved from the institution of Church to the relationships that promote having a life worth immigrating (sort of my working definition of becoming a disciple – more or less).

  5. I think there is a conversation to be had concerning the place of entertainment within the church. Is the big production services of mega churches just people putting forth their first fruits? Or is something with less than good intentions? Do churches play the numbers game with trying to be relevant and “speak the language of the people”? Or do we set ourselves apart as something different? I, personally, am really tired of hearing, “its not sinful so I can do it,” argument. I think the better question to be thinking about is this: Does big production worship help or hurt the church? What message does that promote and is it in line with the Gospel? Does big production worship take glory away from God’s Word or Christ?

    When is this conversation going to be had in an honest, helpful way?