For the past year, all of my church visits have been to either non-dom or emerging denominational churches, where the King is King and style is everywhere. Great sets, good music by worships rockers with tats and gauges and drummers in plexi cages. Closed eyes and raised hands swaying to the music. Titantrons with flashy videos and (LOUD!!) MUSIC BLASTING… IT’S A GOOD THING THAT THEY OFFERED EARPLUGS AT THE DOOR ALONG THE BULLITIN!! (WAH?). I wanted experiences that were unlike anything that I was raised with or was used to. I wanted to new sexy churchy hotness; leave the liturgies and humming and kneeling and the robes for Grandmas and the Tea Party folks – I want my Pastor to have ripped jeans and one of those nudie Britney Spears headset mikes! (Amen and AAAAAmen!)
Really!! …and not really…
The services at the [cult]Church were simple and straightforward:
Step 1: Stand up and sing
Step 2: Prayer
Step 3: The first part of the service
Step 4: Stand up and sing second song
Step 5: The Second part of the service
Step 6: Stand up and sing final song (by this time I am ready to G-O jet)
Step 7: Closing Prayer
Step 8: Go to Hot Sauce Williams
Simple. Predictable. Boring. And it happened twice a week every week for 18 years. It was comforting in its mind-numbing routine-yness, a church normalcy that was the cure for ‘worldly’ behavior and temptations that one would find during the week. It was safe, it provided an identity, I always had the security of knowing what was coming and how it would make me feel which it did every single time.
We run to tradition when we don’t want to think about the technical (that is to say the how to and the what for) of worship. There is no need to worry about being relevant to “seeker friendly” environment, the traditions have been in place for longer than our country has… we know what we are asking for and what we’re gonna get when we walk in. And when we walk in we take our portion of Christian Blessing, take communion, say Amen and leave.
And there is beauty in that and it was something I missed. Say what you want about tradition, but that’s the very thing that tells us who we are and what Abba wants us to do. And frankly, I don’t know either of those things.
So I needed to find a denominational, traditional service with a liturgy and communion, if available.
And it so happened that I knew exactly where to find one…