Monday, June 23, 2014

Try something new in the church world

Over the years, I have spoken at and worshipped in most of CCSC's 41 coalition churches. Being in all of these churches is easily one of the things I enjoy most about my job.

Naturally, the churches vary by denomination.  But they also vary in theology, worship style, interpretation of the gospel, music, and liturgy (vs. no liturgy).  Some churches prefer praise bands, some prefer an organ, and some prefer a cappella. Some follow the lectionary for scripture readings, and some don't.

When I first began working here, these differences stood out.  Now I barely notice them but instead appreciate them. One Sunday, I was at a church that spoke forcefully on a particular social issue; the following Sunday, I was at a different church that also spoke forcefully on that issue, but from a contrasting viewpoint. I chuckled inside and thought how lucky I am to be able to hear, firsthand, how different communities approach difficult issues.

From my desk, these churches are seeking the same thing: to build community and follow the Gospel as best they can.  In doing this, each church develops its own unique style and way of worshipping and serving together.  So I'm uncomfortable when I hear Christians criticizing other churches (or other Christians) for having a viewpoint or style different from their own. Who of us is right 100% of the time?  Not me.

So my challenge is to suggest that you worship, just once, at another church to try something new.  Select a church that is different from your own, and worship there as an experiment in discovering new ways of experiencing church.  A great starting point is the link below, a listing of CCSC's own member churches:

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