Over the years the church has been changing to meet perceived desires of potential clientele. The thought is that if the place looks more like a coffee shop or movie theater people would be more likely to come. Messages saw the enhancements of movie clips and other audio/visual effects. Pulpits disappeared and stools took their place. Worship sets included light shows and some have incorporated fog machines. The ‘feel’ is that of a concert.
There have been rumblings from some of the younger crowd who are wearied over being targeted by the church in these ways. It’s as if the church doesn’t think the younger folks can appreciate old traditions. Others have experienced a lift during the service that quickly fades similar to attending a concert. Emotions are targeted but they soon fade but where does transformation occur?
I am inviting you to be weird. Like when modern music wanes we look to the past to find authentic quality music. The church has had long standing, ancient traditions which are designed to move you along deeper in your faith. The historic practices of the church were not like attending a concert where people are merely recipients but they participated. They used a liturgy which encouraged people to join in the movement of the service. All good West Virginians know when they hear Almost heaven…….. that what comes next is West Virginia. Or when we hear We are……. we’re ready to respond with Marshall!
At Redeemer we practice an ancient/future faith with Christ at the center of all we do. With our use of light liturgy, celebrating ancient traditions like the church calendar and weekly communion, proclaiming our faith with words from 325 AD, and sermons from the Bible one gets the ‘otherness’ of church. Though we are made in the image of God, He is holy ‘other’ from us. Rooted in history, our traditions remind us that God is different than our everyday surroundings and this helps lead us into deeper worship. The future side is practiced as we sing contemporary songs and apply the Bible to our lives today in real and relevant ways.
Weird can be good. But, what if you don’t know how it all works? That’s OK. We’re user friendly and we explain as we go. Before long the awkward newness becomes comforting familiarity. In a world of shifting sand the ‘weird’ may be the anchor your faith needs.