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Old 02-01-2004, 01:07 PM   #31
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Originally posted by Got Philk?
Yeah, this is THE Phil.

Lies, I agree with you on the points of mega-churches. bonosloveslave, I also want you to know my home church(where my dad preaches at) is very contemporary and I feel right at home there too.

One thing I will say about these growing or mega-churches is many of them are trying to create opportunities for people to get to know one another. Granted, churches w/ over 4,000 people are never going to get everyone to know everyone. But there is a church here in Grand Rapids near that size that works at creating opportunities for smaller "church families" to be formed by the use of small groups. More and more churches are using these to create those close relationships lost in larger churches.

I guess that brings up another topic, what do you think of this small group idea?
Hi Phil

Our church also does the small group thing, I think it does help for getting to know people better, we do every-other-week get-togethers/bible studies and the groups change every 6 months so you get to know and have relationships with more and more people
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:26 PM   #32
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At the church I was attending they primarily used hymnals but every once and awhile they would throw in some more contemporary songs that were not in the hymnal. So either an insert in the program or the overhead method was utilized. But primarily hymnals were used. I cant say the overhead bothered me, but I also prefer the hymnal itself. Just a preference really as I cant read music. But I can understand how it would be a definate preference if you are actually reading the music also.

I tend to view my faith as more of a private thing so sometimes anonymonimity has made me feel slightly more comfortable at a larger church versus a small one. But my own personal experience is that the right size church depends on what you are looking for with your relationship with God. For me personally it is a balance of both. I dont want to belong to a church that is so small that you know the same people your whole life and no one new other than other family members join. I think you need different ideas and perspectives in your church in order to make it even better. I also dont like to just be a number. I think it is important to know your pastor and for them to at least have an idea who you are. My last church my pastor was just a great guy and pastor. His sermons would hold my attention and make me think. He really helped me see and experience some things about my faith that I had not before. I dont think that would have happened in a huge mega church. But thats just me personally, I dont think it would have been impossible in a mega church. Just less likely. So I guess overall I prefer a medium sized congregation. But ultimately I dont think there is a right or wrong answer. I think most of us go to a church that makes us feel the most at home and where you feel you are being called to be.
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Old 02-08-2004, 12:51 PM   #33
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Here's my take on small groups. Our church back home uses small groups every last Sunday of the month instead of the evening service. They usually get more people, Christians and non-believers, at these groups than would a church service.

I guess for me thinking about this idea of church makes me think what is church. To me, it's not a building. I believe the Bible says that it isn't the building rather those who are in it. So, couldn't small groups or Bible studies be a "church" as well?

Also, back to contemporary music. If it's so repetative, wouldn't it be easy to learn? Maybe that's why there is no contemporary music hymnal? I don't know...I sing/play drums to both...well, drums and hymns no...??? I'm done
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Old 02-17-2004, 08:47 PM   #34
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Interesting discussion everyone!

Well, about the 3 points that Liv raised ... in my church, no, no and no. I go to a Catholic church which is very much traditional and I like it that way! We have a mostly middle-aged and up congregation - at least at the mass I go to, there is a youth mass but because it does tend to be more contemporary I don't often go to it.

The only thing we have is OHPs, for the hymn words. I don't mind that, it's easier anyway. We don't have praise teams. We have maybe 2 or 3 people each time singing out the front, and the organist, but that's all. And our music is anything but contemporary. Nice, slow, gentle hymns.

I am happy with my church and I don't feel entirely comfortable in mega-churches. I guess that's because I've grown up Catholic and I'm used to quiet, contemplative worship. I find it easier to reflect when it's just the priest out the front giving the sermon, rather than having numerous people giving testimonies, etc, which hardly ever happens in my church. And softer music makes it easier to think that loud, loud music.
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:06 AM   #35
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Well I grew up in the cvatholic/.protesant divide.. but my mom took me every sunday to the catholic church.. as a kid back then I remember being apart of the youth groups and sunday school. It kept me occupied and talt me about god on my leve on a level I could understand and relate too instead of some guy preaching words I didnt understand.. But these days churches in my area sunday school is gone and youth groups are not what they use to be.. No wonder kids fall asleep in church.. boring for them

Anyway as I grew older and know i really don't go to church very often at all as I have a real problem with it .. Not with God but as what the church has become.. When I do go I don't want power point presentations and rock music.. I wanna feel like God is in the house .. I dont want to be preached at I wanna learn and hear the stories from the bible and I don't wanna be told what I should think of them..

I think basically the church should be able to keep up with the times while still holding credability and not turning into a circus. Give kids something they can relate to.. there is a reason less and less youth in Canada are going to Church and why there are less people entering the the priesthood.. I have almost heard priest put the fear of God into young people that scares them away . Where is the message "love thy neighbour" I dont hear that in church nearly enough anymore .
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:25 PM   #36
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Originally posted by Katey
I think basically the church should be able to keep up with the times while still holding credability and not turning into a circus.
I think this is gets at the heart of this debate. How do we organize a church service so that it points at GOD, not at the preacher/priest/reverend/pastor/speaker and how do we apply it to our lives while avoiding relativism?

I think a lot of traditionalist might argue that the church doesn't need to change to keep up with the times because Christian values and goals are just the same as they were 1000 years ago.
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:31 PM   #37
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Exactly. How do you organize a church that ministers to people without simply giving them what they want. I think we end up with milk churches and meat churches.
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:06 AM   #38
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you know i just have no idea on the topic of church..I mean how do you make. I mean for me I see the bible as a great bunch of fables and lessons for life from God.. I know God does not need my help.. I try not to take things to literally .... the one and only thing that has always been my guiding principle is love thy neighbour. I know the historical impact of the bible but sometimes I wonder if God is up there going you just don't get it .. I could be completly off..Where in the bible did God ask us to judge .. I think God has that part under control

The minute people who claim to be christians don't come to the aid of their brothers and sisters because of how they judge them.. .. I have a problem with religion not god
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:10 PM   #39
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You have no idea how surprised I am! These are things my parents complain about all the time! They'll be so happy to know other Christians don't like overhead projectors or brainless, manufactured songs, either. My church has a HUGE problem with these things. It's horrible! All they do is repeat the same pithy choruses over and over again. (We only use Power Point when the substitute pastor is preaching.)

It's like the "old" hymns are the U2 of the church music world and the manufactured stuff is the Good Charolette and Britney Spears. No talent, no SOUL (which is what church music is supposed to have!).
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Old 02-20-2004, 06:00 PM   #40
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I am Catholic also. I'm glad we don't have overhead projectors. That would absolutely freak me out! Power Point? Ouch! I like tradition. Sometimes I go to church a half hour early, so I can just say my prayers and then just sit there in the quiet. I really like the *quiet* nature of the mass.
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:08 AM   #41
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Sometimes I go to church a half hour early, so I can just say my prayers and then just sit there in the quiet. I really like the *quiet* nature of the mass.
We try to do the same. I think one of the most overlooked aspects of worship is getting ready for worship. How can I approach God in worship unless I am clean? And I don't mean just a shower, but spending time in confession to deal with the sin in my life.


To many in our congregation follow "Newport time" - arriving at 8:45 for the 8:30 service.
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Old 02-29-2004, 03:10 PM   #42
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Originally posted by Rachel D.
It's like the "old" hymns are the U2 of the church music world and the manufactured stuff is the Good Charolette and Britney Spears. No talent, no SOUL (which is what church music is supposed to have!).

So true. And as much as people say the newer more contemporary songs are just as spitirual, it's so hard for me to accept. Take for example "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", words by MARTIN LUTHER and tune by BACH. I mean, Luther is the father of my form of religion, and Bach is one of the most influential composers of all time. How am I supposed to feel ANYTHING singing a song by Twila Paris?
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:50 PM   #43
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I'm Catholic so I don't have any experience with power-point presentations in church or praise teams, but I have to say neither sound very appealing to me. As for using contemporary music I think it's great - as long as it's good contemporary music. For the most part the more contemporary stuff we do at Mass at our church is quite good - not at all like the music in those "praise and worship" CDs I see advertised on TV sometimes. But at the same time I also love the more traditional music. I'm glad we do both.
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Old 02-29-2004, 09:16 PM   #44
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The contemporary stuff we use at our masses is quite good. But we use alot of traditional music as well. It's all pretty good to me. Crummy music during a service would screw up the whole thing for me.
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Old 03-26-2004, 06:10 PM   #45
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I just joined this site today, and never in a million years would I have thought THIS would be my first post. But, I can't help myself . . .

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If the church you go to is so big that you don't know and trust your minister, your church is too big. That's where I draw the line. The minister should know the name of each member of the church, as long as the members put forth effort into introducing themselves and keeping in touch with the minister, but if they're not doing that, then that's another problem... You don't have to know everyone in the congregation, but I think in order to really trust and respect the minister, you have to know each other to some extent. And I'm guessing churches with 4000+ members can't claim to "know" their minister.
Here's my beef with this argument. If we go back to the Acts chapter 2, the very first church on its very first day in existance topped out at more than 3,000 members. Acts 2:47 "Those who accepted his [St. Peter] message were baptized, and about 3,000 were added to their number that day." Calculating that they didn't even count women in children in such figures, it's safe to say the first church, the church in Jerusalem, was well within what we'd call a MEGA-CHURCH. And I know few Christians who'd be willing to say that Peter and the bunch were doing church all wrong.

My point is this. The Church has many different purposes and many different objectives. First and foremost among those are: 1.) Providing a place of worship; 2.) Providing for the needs of its members; 3.) Providing a place for those who are seeking Christ to find Him. Each individual church should have these three points within their main goals, but each church is going to put different emphasis on each. The more contemporary, power point friendly churches, such as Saddleback and Willow Creek as mentioned before, have a "seeker-sensative" approach to church, putting their emphasis on #3. The more traditional, hymnal friendly churches, such as the ones many of you have mentioned attending, likely put more emphasis on #1. All churches, I would hope, put emphasis on #2.

In God's Kingdom, different churches have different roles to play, and it's up to the individual to find which church best gives them what they're looking for. I currently attend a more contemporary church, and I admit that there are times when the music is as mind-numbing as a Britney Spears poetry reading contest, but the way in which people are finding God for the first time in a relevant setting that speaks to their situation is something I'll sacrifice the spritual depth of the hymnal for. But that's just me. My personal worship to God is something I'm in charge of, and I don't need a church with whatever style of worship to make that happen.

We all have different styles and we all have different tastes. Christians are a mixed bunch of nuts, and let's let them have their own flavor. Division over worship styles, power point presentations, the color of the carpet, etc. have divided too many church for too long. Jesus' last words before committing his life to the cross were not, "worship with hymns/bands" or "stick to traditions" but " . . . may they [Christians] be one as we [Jesus and the Father] are one. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:22-23)
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