Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Are We Doing Church Right?

This is not talking about serving or our hearts, discipleship, etc. I am wondering about Sunday morning services, that one (or more) hour of spending time with God. Specifically that thing we call a sermon...

Here's where I got this. Sunday night at our Student Ministry Drink Deep we talked about the importance of story. How storytelling and understanding stories is important to our faith (in this case the Christmas Story). And in this we went through the history of storytelling.

For thousands of years, storytelling was the thing. It was the only way in a community to convey a message, mainly historical, that we connect to in some way. So the Sunday morning sermon made sense. You would get the people in the community together to hear a story about God and have it explained somewhat. For the longest time, books were precious and rare, they had to be written by hand. Even after Gutenberg, still only the rich had books, and only those few who were literate. The idea of gathering together to hear a story was important.

But in our culture, is it? Everyone can read the story for themselves now. Forget reading a story, we can watch a story now! We have plays, TV, movies, we get to see high quality stories in HD all the time. Why would you want to essentially move backward and listen to someone talk and tell stories when we can go see them ourselves (with way cooler special effects)? Why would someone not raise in church, not knowing the importance of the stories want to suddenly want to join that?

I wonder if storytelling in the church will change? Obviously we can't put on a play every week or make church a TV program (where's the sense of community in that?), but what are we going to do? How is church going to keep up? (Even that's a foreign thought. For the last two thousand years the church was the leader in arts, architecture, design, education, etc. What happened there?)

Questions to ponder. No answers. If you have ideas though, I'm open...


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