The Season after Pentecost
sometimes called "Ordinary Time"
If you regularly worship in a church, what does it mean to be satisfied?
Are you there to be satisfied? to have your expectations met? to be personally, spiritually fulfilled?
Are you there to satisfy a deity? to placate and angry God who demands vengance?
Neither should be the case, I feel. The "angry God" straw
man god of some modern theologians could be -- I will speculate here -- responsible for the lessening of a theology of worship among modern Christians.
The advances in the accessibility of increasingly segmented, personalized entertainment certainly fuel the assumption that anything that smacks of entertainment should be about us. And liturgy's performance aspects are easily confused with those of secular culture (there's music, leaders, money involved, a "stage" in some cases)
A neighboring church here in Richmond writes that you should be no more than 75% satisfied with their worship. Any more than that, they say, and they're not doing it right. They know that this seems a little counterintuitive.
Typically we want our “customers” to be as happy with everything in worship as possible so they will keep on coming back, invite their friends, and give us their money! But it may be more faithful to the gospel to call people to sacrifice a degree of personal preference to make space for the other – and that space is often reflected in the way we worship.
So go on: embrace the uncomfortable. Be willing to endure a song you don’t like or a worship form that seems awkward or out of place. In doing so, you may be opening the door to a person to know Christ and to be welcomed in your community that, were it not for your own worship displeasure, would never have felt at home.
But what if our dissatisfaction in church involves more than worship? (Spoiler alert: it does).
You need to read 5 Ways to be Unsatisfied with Your Church
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