Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Symbols not Cymbals

We have enjoyed John Van der Laar's seminar up here in Pietermaritzburg. John's sensitivity to worship culture was most encouraging. The 'convert' factor is eliminated when we recognize the worth in other styles of Worship. The culture flux means that we need to be in flux with our worship style. The Church needs to be adapting its style (not principles) of worship in connection with the world it lives in. We may not have 'youth' in our church, but if we don't somewhere adapt our style of worship for youth we will never have youth finding our worship meaningful and the same applies with the elderly. It all depends on our context. At the same time we are not dictated too by the society we live in. Let us stick to the principles, be sensitive to the worshipers, and listen to the culture before choosing what symbol we choose.


Herman G said...

Indeed in our world we need to be like Paul who reached out, and today especially to the youth who is the church of today:
All this is for your sake; and as God's grace reaches more and more people, they will offer to the glory of God more prayers of thanksgiving. Furthermore for this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.

Charles Sz said...

To me this is where our values kick into action. Too often we talk about "unity" and "respect for diversity" or wanting "youth" in our churches. But then complain about "the noisy kids in meetings", not liking the "style".. making all our politically correct utterances nothing more by empty cymbals / symbols as it was so nicely put.

Being a dad with two young ones I have first hand experience of irate church goers, so on a slight tangent to the topic, it reminds me of Jesus and the young children where Jesus says not to prevent them from coming and what we do too the least of these we do to Him. I guess if we take the statement serious and yet bemoan the young ones presence and the inconvenience they cause - basically saying they are not really welcome- are we in effect saying Jesus is not welcome!

Maybe it’s time we look past our comfort zones to our own characters. After all, and here I agree $with Brian a good friend of mine, God is more interested in our character than our comfort. Actually it’s the times of "discomfort" that can have the seeds of greatest growth for us; if we are willing to embrace it earnestly, humbly, without expectation and in submission to God's will and God's kingdom.

It's a tall order, but one that can be achieved, Not where we all conform, but one where diversity itself becomes a means to a broader worship and service to God, our community and our call as Christians. As James Ryle puts it "Putting forward a compelling case for people to come to faith in Christ" (from a great 5 sermon series called “living a legacy” http://www.truthworks.org/downloads/)

Probably too many thoughts in one go, but God bless and I hope that made sense!