Killing the Program: Further Thoughts on Worship…

Last week I posted, “Confessions of a Former Worship Leader,” which garnered quite a  bit of attention. The post deserved an immediate follow up though it seemed best to let it simmer, both in my brain and yours.

The main argument of the blog was that musical worship in church has gotten a bit out of hand. And while I don’t wish to see an end to musicianship in the church (by any means), I do think it’s healthy to deconstruct what we do, examine it and question.

The sacredness of worship is beautiful and timeless; the traditions we’ve built are what’s worth questioning.

In the days since that post, I’ve had a couple great conversations regarding church and the program—some I agree with, some I don’t. There seems to be a growing sentiment of disdain for the modern, local church. You could almost call it distrust.

I just don’t trust where the money goes…

I just don’t trust the motivations…

I just don’t trust the program…

In fewer words, the growing sentiment is this: let’s kill the program. The program (church program, that is) is, arguably, built to shuffle many people in and out of a building on Sunday. The before statement removes any spiritual aspect from the motivations of the elders and pastors, I understand that. But this is the perspective of people like me who just don’t relate to a big show on Sunday. To us, church is, and should be, nothing more than a gathering of believers.

We believe that Church can happen anytime throughout the week, and the existence of a stage feels counterintuitive to Christ’s message.

To be honest, I’ve grown past my contempt. Big church isn’t something I feel we should kill. I still have struggles, yes, but I’ve come to respect big church for who they serve and all the good that they do. Just because I don’t personally relate to the show on Sunday, doesn’t mean other people can’t. In fact, many, many people do. This was a hard realization to make.

Sometimes, I feel the criticism take over. In these cases, I’m sinning.

If we’re not careful, the distrust in our church may become just another empty tradition we wrap ourselves up in. This is why every believer needs to be in fellowship. Not in a big church, not in a little church, just in church. Other believers keep us grounded. When we have someone to bounce ideas off of, instead of the padded walls in our brain, we are given feedback and advice. Sometimes, just saying something out loud relieves the tension.

Here’s some questions to ponder:

1. How do we mend the growing sentiment of distrust between believers and the church?

2. Will there always be a gap between anti-program and pro-program believers? Is this an issue we should even try to solve in this world?

3. By respecting the program, would those in church be more willing to respect the, I hesitate to say it, “organic model”?

4. Can corporate worship exist outside of physical church walls?

5. If we’re not involved in church, do we have a right to criticize it?

What do you think?