Something really struck me this week, snobbery, over big churches and little churches. Yep, that's right, snobbery. I have been a part of both kinds of churches and I have to say that I have enjoyed both. At this moment in time I am in a very small church. Probably 110 to 120 every Sunday morning is what we have. Two years ago I was singing in the choir in front of a couple thousand people on Sunday morning! Big change, but I go where I have been led to go.
Can I just say though how much I love love love my current small church? I just do love everyone so much! This is the friendliest group of people I have ever been surrounded by and you know what? They love me too :) That's pretty dern nice! I'm kind of a loner so it's pretty special for people to just love all over me just because they are full of love themselves. Me likey.
So the debate over small & big churches has crept up around me several times in the last couple of weeks and I am really surprised at how adamant most people are about their stance on what "church" should look & sound like. Yep, sound too. Hymnal versus no hymnal debates can bring the sweetest Jesus girls to blows, ha ha.
I really liked it when Joyce Meyer pointed out that God works in all denominations and all churches. Your church is not the "right church". He is everywhere and I was like "YES!!!". Small church people are appalled (generally speaking) by the large churches and heaven forbid the mega churches. I debate repeatedly with small church people that God does in fact exist in those large churches too and that you can in fact find friends in large churches and feel loved. It may be a little harder to stand out in a large church or be noticed but um.....it does happen. I promise. They argue no way can you feel a sense of family in a large church. Small churches are all about the family feeling. Which I must say, is awesome. I never felt the sense of "church family" until I attended a small church. I gotta say, it's pretty awesome!!! They've got something there. Small church people generally speaking don't like the music in the large churches and sing out of the hymnals a lot. I can't say how many times I've heard hymnal music is more anointed than current day music. What? I'm sorry, the Holy Spirit stopped working in 1913? Dang, I didn't know that I always say with a smile. What that really means if we want to be real is I like my music better than yours and my music is superior to yours and you are not doing it right.
I recall the two men praying, one thanking God he is not a sinner like the man standing next to him is. The sinner is just getting humble before the Lord. Hmmmm.......
Large church people, generally speaking, don't give much thought to small churches. I have heard though many times that if what was going on in the small churches was any good they would be multiplying. I disagree. There is a strong need for both kinds of churches. People are so different and we need different kinds of churches. Can I get an Amen? I don't like to dis somebody else's church unless of course they are distorting the Word. That's different.
Large churches can offer some awesome bible study courses. Large churches can offer some great social stuff for the lonely people, which is most of us, right? Large churches can offer theological degrees like my old one did. Large churches have some great great programs and may I say.....some awesome choir music. They offer really good children's programs that get more age specific. They will a lot of times have their own teen worship with teenagers in their own teen band singing praise and worship. Teens are tough to reach, large churches can offer some pretty cool stuff to get them to want to come.
Personally, I get tired of the music debate. My personal preference is modern contemporary music. I like the drums, bass guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, yada yada with the modern stuff and a little old thrown in. That's just me. But this girl was rockin it out at the Joyce Meyer conference during praise and worship with Martin Smith from Delirious. I receive and can truly worship in that kind of music.
So here is the kicker.....while many want only their own personal preference I think perhaps it is best to look at the congregation and see just who is in attendance? Isn't the point of praise and worship to bring us into praising God and worshiping Him? So, if you have lots of young people, hey get over it and sing some modern songs too, okay? My humble opinion. But, I don't say anything out loud of course. It's not my place. If you've got kids and teens, chances are most of them aren't getting their praise and worship on from songs with lots of thous and thee's and arts. Just sayin. This comes from having much discussion with young people on this subject. Don't we want them to learn to worship too? Big churches, you won't die if you take an old song and throw a bone to some older people either. Maybe make the beat a little more updated or something. Those hymnal songs if you look at the words are pretty awesome.
My current church sings out of the hymnals half and some current stuff too. Our current stuff is more southern gospel, some bluegrass stuff too. Now, I'll be honest, it's not for me at all. That would make a lot of people mad but it's true. I do not attend this church for the music so I don't let it bother me. I know God led my family here without a doubt so I don't get my panties in a wad because there is only one song on Sunday that I may like. I'm not there for the singing. I do just want to say though that I cannot believe how hard it is for me to praise and worship while listening to and singing music that honestly, I just don't like at all. Y'all, I fervently pray that there is no bluegrass in Heaven, lol. I can't stand it! I am amazed at how many people love old southern gospel, but hey, they sure do love it and they can get their worship on in it and that's awesome!! Me, Oh Lord, I'm happy when it's over. Isn't that terrible? Some people get mad at me but I just say, hey, this is what works for you. It does not stir anything in me. I don't knock your stuff, there is a need for it so please don't knock someone else's stuff that works for them. They need it too.
I think we all need to be just a little more open to all the ways we can worship the Lord in song and all they ways we can worship Him in a building. We aren't cookie cutter people so why would our church programs and building be cookie cutter? In the words of Rodney King, "Can't we all just get along?" Sheesh.
P.S.... the debates are among friends, neighbors & such. Not a reflection of my church:)
Don't mind me, just venting!