What planet are you on?

MAY 23, 2016

The first time I went overseas everything was foreign to me. The food, language, sights, smells, and customs. It was disorienting. It was so strange that I would not have been surprised to see two moons in the sky. It was like another planet.

Church feels like that to many people who are not used to a Church service. That’s why the apostle Paul taught that the public meeting of the Church should be, well, public. He instructed the women in the Church in Corinth to cover their hair so that ‘they‘, the visitors from a Jewish culture, would not be put off the message. He taught that everyone shouldn’t go on and on in tongues or ‘they‘ would think they were mad and would be put off the message. (This is not the gift of tongues and interpretation. But even here Paul said it was better to prophesy so people could understand). He encouraged the women not to call out across the room in the meeting because ‘they‘ would be distracted from the message. I go to churches regularly where the interjectors distract.

The secret culture of the Church where people sing about lamb’s blood and broken bodies, want the names and addresses of people they have never met, collect a ‘tithe’, suddenly go off the song being sung and leave visitors standing, put their hands on and shout at people who have wandered out to an ‘altar’ call – all without a word of explanation, is alien to the public.

 Unless a Church is happy to stay where they are or only want to accommodate other church goers, they need to live on planet earth. Spirit contemporary Churches have found how to blend pentecostal expression with seeker awareness. Firstly explain everything that is happening, everything, clearly and succinctly. Secondly adjust language; prophecies don’t have to be in King James English and can be in the third person. Structure ‘free’ times; ensure people go to new people during a ‘greeting’ time and ‘free’ worship is short and is incorporated into a song and has a similar melody line. Non structured times disconcert new comers who don’t know what to do. Become an interpreter of culture and language to open the door and let ‘them’ in.