My brother had a big long name for his blog posts like this. It did a really funny pair of posts, actually, about different church types. Sadly, I am not as witty as him, nor am I as talented a writer (see that, brother? I complimented you!).
But I felt that as I had an interesting experience at a church a couple of weeks ago I should blog about it. I did write the experience up in my notebook/diary, after all.
We went to a church in the downtown area of Edmonton. I think it was very inventively named 'City Centre Church'. The service was held in an old movie theatre. This immediately set my spider senses buzzing. As much as I want to see churches rip out their pews and get rid of the bus-ride style setting, services held in repurposed venues always make me think 'hipster'. I can't help it.
Also, there was a band on stage, up the front, not off to one side. Front and centre. It's not really my thing. I think a band should be there to help people worship rather than being the focus of the gathering.
And yet, I heard a little nagging voice...don't you hate those? It was telling me to let go of my preconceptions and just go with it. And you know what? It wasn't bad. It was actually pretty good. I didn't know a lot of the music, because I forget how much of the stuff we sing in church at home is actually Australian. But it didn't really matter, even if it wasn't easy to pick up. The words were actually good. Not like a lot of the theologically unsound I generally associate with that kind of crowd. And they played 'Majesty (Here I am) by Delirious. I knew that a bit. So that was good.
And the preaching was good. And not all about 'hey, give us your money'. It was on Ecclesiastes, something a lot of preachers I know avoid like the plague. But it was great. It was pure simple good message. I was surprised.
And then I realised how sad it is to be surprised to hear good preaching in a church. Is it just me being cynical? Is there any good reason for me to be so cynical? If I let go of preconceptions and the preaching was rubbish, would I still be asking these mostly retorical questions?
I don't want to be cynical about the church. I guess being cynical about people in general doesn't help. I just wish I didn't feel like a lot of the time that cynicism is deserved.
I'm not sure if this post makes sense. It seems lying in bed blogging leads to ramble and nonsence. Who knew?