At Your Service

I’ve been having a lot of discussions lately around the functions of church services.

Go ahead and help me out by voting on the polls below.

Feel free to post any other thoughts.


What elements of a service would you change?

What would you add? take away?



Filed under Church

5 responses to “At Your Service

  1. Jesse

    I put worship for the first one, but I really feel that it is of equal importance with preaching/teaching. and for the second poll, I usually do remember the sermon, but I actually haven’t been to church in 2 weeks because of the car wash and then the men’s retreat. and that’s the rest of the story

  2. christophergonzalez

    That’s encouraging for a preacher. It is super important because people are looking to consume your product. But no one remembers what they consumed. I wonder if something is broken?

  3. johnholman

    I do think that the broken state of the modern church is revealed by this in a small way. I’ve said it before to some people, but I’m sure not everyone has heard my thoughts on this, so I’ll just say a little bit to give everyone an idea of where I’m coming from.

    I hate having people talk at me. I fall asleep in class because I can’t stand it, and I fall asleep in church because I can’t stand it. I don’t believe that it’s necessarily the fault of the speaker. There is something in me that just doesn’t like it. I think the root behind me not liking preaching in its modern form is that a preacher will preach the same sermon regardless of whether or not I am there. My presence will change nothing of what he has to say, just like my presence (or absence) in a classroom won’t change what a professor says. They’re going to blab on about their knowledge and interpretations of their respective material regardless of what I have to do with it.

    While there is value in the message that is being taught by preachers, I really challenge you to find good examples of straight-up preaching in the Bible. If you can, can you definitively say that it was one man standing in front of a crowd for an extended period of time (more than 1/2 hour) just talking about his views on some specific matter? I don’t really know that anyone can answer that question very well, but there is something in me that absolutely cannot stand what preaching has become because it seems to be so contrary to what the rest of the Bible teaches.

    The Bible shows us why we are relational beings, and that reason is because we need God to be in our lives (Augustine’s God-shaped-hole theory). Modern preaching isn’t about relationship. It’s about lecturing. To me, it seems more like an imposition of one will onto the masses, rather than an apologetically based discussion. I’m not saying that church needs to be a debate because I’m not sure that would do anyone very much good either. But I know that church was not intended to be a brainwashing service, and that’s what it has become. If you think my use of the word brainwashing is extreme, just check out what the word actually means and how brainwashing is done. It’s pretty much what the church does today. The same ideas spit at someone for an extended period of time will get almost anyone to believe anything that is being said. That’s brainwashing, and that’s what modern preaching is.

    You want to know why we hate so much when Rob Bell goes on some of his ridiculous tangents? Because we have been brainwashed by the Kellers, the Driscolls, and the MacArthurs of the world to believe something contrary to what Bell believes. It doesn’t take any real thought or searching of scriptures for most of us to hear Rob Bell speak and cringe at some of his comments. A lot of that is a knowledge that was given to us by man shouting out against Bell, not a knowledge given by God.

    How many of you actually have a personal and deep relationship with the man who tells you what to believe on Sunday?

    How many of you have had a meal with your pastor?

    How many of you have given a sermon yourself?

    How many of you listen to pastors more than you actually read the Bible? (45 minute sermon that covers 3 verses still means you need to have read at least 45 minutes from the Bible)

    Again, I’m not saying that preaching is a bad thing. Preaching is necessary, and it is a good thing. On occasion, Jesus preached. When the prophets were called, they brought God’s message to the people. Preaching is good. But what we have now that we call “preaching,” I don’t know if I could call it good.

  4. Matt

    If I broke down what you wrote logically, this is what you wrote:
    -The bible says church without relationship is bad
    -There is no relationship in modern preaching.
    -Therefore, modern preaching is bad.

    The problem with your argument is that it is not valid because you imply that church is equal to preaching, which is not the case at all.

    The only way you’re argument becomes valid is if it becomes this:
    -The bible says church without relationship is bad
    -There is no relationship in modern preaching.
    -Modern Preaching equals the Church
    -Therefore, modern preaching is bad

    However, this is false because Modern Preaching does not equal the church.
    The way preaching is done in the modern church doesn’t take away from relationships, unless individual people allow church for them to just be about the preaching or Sunday morning services. I can guarantee that most Christian churches will always stress the importance of getting connected outside of the Sunday morning service, whether its home groups, Bible studies, ministries, etc. The problem isn’t the way preaching is done; the problem is when people or the church leadership allow church to be only about the teaching services.

  5. johnholman

    While I get what you’re saying, I disagree that preaching should be able to get away with excluding relationship. I believe we should take a holistic approach to church rather than compartmentalizing specific ministries.

    If preaching fails to develop relationships, I don’t think it is a good thing the way that it is currently being done. I don… Read More’t equate preaching to the church, I just realize that it is part of what we experience as a church service, and it is not doing an effective job in building up the church, in my opinion.

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