What on earth has worship become, that a recent poll states that “a majority of people leave church without feeling that they experienced God’s presence.”? “In a typical weekend, less that one-third of adults who attend services feel as if they truly interacted with God.”
This incredible indictment against all we have sought to accomplish in corporate worship over the past decades leads me to one conclusion: For all our worship conferences, musical excellence workshops and praise & worship initiatives we are failing to touch the throne of heaven in our worship.
Despite the current hype in the Christian music scene; the rise in worship albums, famous worship leaders and concert type events; there are three areas in the “real world” of local church worship that are quietly causing a whisper of frustration in those who desire the real thing in the church.
The first sign is that I can tell you exactly what is going to happen at your church next Sunday. You’ll start with three fast songs, move into four slow songs, followed by communion, then the “word” and, if you’re a really spiritual church, end with a ministry time.
John 3:6 states that “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear it’s sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit”.
You cannot tell where a person of the Spirit is going. He or she is as unpredictable as the wind! But amazingly we know exactly where most leaders will go next during a service. Most congregation members can pre-empt their leaders moves. They sit down “ready” for communion. They fidget when it’s “time” for the message end!
If John 3:6 is truth, then we have to ask the honest question: Are we calling things “spiritual” that are not of God? Is it God telling us to meet for one and a half hours each week, and churn out this liturgical offering to Him? God, who’s imagination designed both the flea and the elephant, the buttercup and the Oak, but can only think up this ritualistic, predictable singing of songs, week after week, around the globe? Or have we perhaps, become victims of Pentecostal/Charismatic culture? Are we perhaps simply doing what was done before us?