Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Five at Church

It's my turn to host the F.F. today. Here it is.

Please pardon me for talking about church in the summer when many of you may be on vacation. However, the church we are talking about today is the one you dream of. Tell us five things that the perfect church would have, be, do...whatever.We can dream, right?
ONLY five? Yah, yah...okay...
1. The perfect church has all kinds of music. This means there is a humongous pipe organ, and a piano, and drums, keyboard, guitars, percussion, brass. They sing "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" and they sing praise choruses too (GOOD ones. No "Jesus is my me me me me...choruses). Once in a while they sing camp meeting songs like "I'll Fly Away" or "Pentecostal Power." There are choirs, a handbell choir, great ensembles, an excellent and rockin' band. Oh yeah, my perfect church has it all and no one complains about music style. Ever!
2. People believe the best about each other. They refuse to gossip or to jump on a negative bandwagon. They never lose hope in the ability of God's grace to transform the human heart...theirs and others as well, so they can believe, trust, and hope as they walk with their fellows.
3. Of course, in this church there is freedom to explore, and that includes making mistakes without fear or guilt. Mistakes are understood to be part of life. There is no condemnation. Correction? Yep. But no condemnation.
4. People are always awake, alert, engaged, and they are not afraid to say "Amen!" when the preacher is doing a really good job. (It goes without saying that the preacher in the perfect church always does a superb job.)
5. The perfect church welcomes, accepts, forgives, affirms, challenges....anyone and I mean anyone is welcome and valued and encouraged to become Jesus' disciple and find their gifts. Of course, there are never but never limitations based on looks, gender, race etc.
Only five. Only five!


LoieJ said...

Nice list. I would add about the preaching: the preacher has variety, not just the same formula every week, even if the content is good. Music: yes, variety. I'm not sure I would like a (too)loud praise band, but if they played in a way that put Jesus at the center, not themselves, then great. Also, not music during every interlude. There needs to be some quiet time, some time for reflection and listening to God.

I've always thought that church music shouldn't be segregated, ie, kid's music, camp music, big-people-church music, etc. But if the music is singable, but not too simplistic, and the words have good theology, teach about God and/or praise God, then it is ALL good for the church service.

Dr Laura Marie Grimes said...

Beautiful list, Singing Owl--and I so agree with you about the variety of music. There are good and bad examples of all styles.... I have sung and loved all sorts and always think it is sad when people are stuck to one as the only worship worthy/relevant/whatever option.

Elaine (aka...Purple) said...

I do love me some good music. I am pretty eclectic so it works for me.

Mrs. M said...

I love it. Thanks, Singing Owl.

Nik said...

no 'jesus is my boyfriend' tunes??? oh, sign me up now, please :)

Rev SS said...

Oh! good list ... especially like #2!

Muthah+ said...

I could say "no wonder she doesn't have a congregation" But we always look for the idea and then have to live with what God has sent us. I believe that is what Jesus did too.

This is 5 could be misunderstood by those who read our blogs tho.

Auntie Knickers said...

I think your list is great. Especially about the music -- I would even go for some praise band music if I could have all the other kinds too.I hope you'll get to pastor that ideal church someday, soon!

Diane M. Roth said...

I like the "amen" part. :)

angela said...

I would like # 3 and # 5 to add to my list please. Very well stated. And #1 is a challenge everywhere when it shouldn't be. We wouldn't know what a praise song looked like down here, though there is the obligatory "Lord I Lift Your Name on High"--we may have sung that once.

Kimberly said...

Love this list! And to the Amens, let me say....

A Tank Full of Amen

Walking my walk,
thinking my thoughts,
I wander wonder
and stop to ponder

What is
gotta move
gotta praise
gotta say

Some folks
have the gift
of full throttle

They can call it out
in the aisle
like they'd drive it
down the highway--
that top down feeling
with the sunglasses on--
and everyone knows--
there goes a soul
who knows the thrill
of freedom
and a full tank of gas.

Economy model
just doesn't have
the same release.

Sarah said...

Love the poem, Mperiodpress! Awesome!!!

I also will mourn the loss the of "Jesus is my boyfriend" praise choruses. LOL!

Great list :)

Anonymous said...

The perfect church is where:

a starving child is being fed;
a homeless person is being sheltered;
the sick and the dying are being comforted...

I'm not sure it exists yet, but I like to dream :)

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the old joke: A guy had been stranded on a island for years and when he was finally rescued he was questioned about the huts he had built. He explained that one was his house and the other was his church. When asked about the third hut he said, 'Oh, that's the church I used to go to but I couldn't stand it after awhile and had to leave.'
(Do I make a smiley or a frowny face now? Probably both!) Maureen

stf (lorna) said...

The perfect church welcomes, accepts, forgives, affirms, challenges....anyone and I mean anyone is welcome and valued and encouraged to become Jesus' disciple and find their gifts. Of course, there are never but never limitations based on looks, gender, race etc.

love that ... I long for the body to find their gifts and be encouraged to use them in and out of church :) I LONG for it

Deb said...

hee heee heee.... "Jesus is my boyfriend" choruses. GAG! I know EXACTLY the songs you are talking about, too...

I still haven't blogged this, I guess because I am in such a place of transition. That doesn't mean I didn't go read everyone else's posts and nod my head sagely.