‘This isn’t working! There, I’ve said it. I feel better already. I’ve been meaning to say it for a long time – in fact I can’t remember a time in the last 30 years that I haven’t thought it. Oh- it’s the Church I’m talking about by the way!’
A few years ago I started a chapter I was asked to write for a book called ‘Inside Verdict’ with these words. I often wonder if things have improved any in the 3 years and I know that there are signs of hope, but I struggle with Sunday mornings in church.
This morning I ‘led’ ‘worship’. These two words are in parenthasis because I’m not that sure either were true. The people are nice and I’m sure they are earnest in their desire to come and worship God but I have to say that what they got this morning might not be helping them in their relationship, either with God or with each other.
I led the two congregations through a standard Scottish reformed hymn/prayer/sermon sandwich. The hymns were all from the new church hymnary, the prayers were in everyday language and the sermon (even though I say it myself) was pretty good. So why am I left feeling that no-one would have bothered much if none of it had happened?
For me the big question has to be ‘Does this worship reflect my daily life?’ The answer is a resounding ‘NO’! I don’t ever sing, not even in the shower. Music is something I listen to. I pray but in a very unorganised way, not like church prayers at all. I have a job where I can indulge my interest in ethical, moral and political issues and I enjoy crafting a sermon, but does that make it relevant for the vast majority of people sitting as far apart from each other as possible as I spout off for 15 minutes?
I found myself thinking this morning ‘Why are you here?’. Not ‘why am I here?’ but ‘why are you here?’. What on earth is it about this gathering for an hour that feeds your spiritual journey? Is this in any way helpful for your life? Surely we must be able to find something more meaningful!
I have lots more thoughts but I’m interested in yours. Does traditional Sunday worship still have a place? Does it work for you? Does it enable you to express your love of God?