Monday, July 17, 2006

church in lansing - part 2

As mentioned yesterday, we then drove across town to church #2 of the day. This visit was at one of the largest churches in Lansing. It is a great church that has excellence in music, teaching, ministry and more.

The oddest part was running into so many people that we know. At every corner someone would say, "Joel & Tracy, what are you doing here?!"

One observation however was the "homogeny" of the population. It seemed that just about every other person was a white suburban professional with nice clothes and a fancy car. It kind of had the country club "this is the place to be" kind of feel. I didn't see many body-piercings, tattoos, rock and roll wannabes, ethnic diversity or blue collar hourly good 'ole boys. This is not a criticism (it's not as if they have a sign up that says "must look clean-cut to enter"). But it is an interesting observation on how like is often attracted to like. Whether a church wants it or not, they tend to grow towards some prevailing societal group.

The music and times of worship here were more powerful (to me personally) than any other church we have visited so far (5 weekend services in the last 9 days). It wasn't just the style. It was the heart of the worship leader. At most of the other churches, the leader was trying to work through glitches in the band or sound or video. The lack of planning, prepartion and practice prevented the other worship leaders from fully engaging and just entering into the experience. They always had to be making corrections, while trying to keep everybody together.

While some people might be turned off to the fact that this most recent band and tech team was so well-rehearsed...I think it allowed the worship team to enter more fully into worship without worrying about transitions and technicalities. Every lighting change was smooth, every key change as if they had done it a thousand times before.

Yes, I would agree that there is something beautiful about spontineity. But there is also something beautiful about an offering of excellence that prevents glitches and experience that flows and allows people to place their focus on God without wondering if we're going to see a platform trainwreck.

I am so thankful for all the hardworking staff and volunteers at Faith Church who put in many hours each week to facilitate a powerful experience of worship to God.