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Source: (consider it) Thread: MW 3201: Hillsong, Bermondsey
Albertus
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Just to say that if ken, the Ship's leading Millwall fan, were still with us, he would surely give at least a [Eek!] to the MWer's statement that 'opposite the church is a large football ground'. That's not just any large football ground, that's The Den!

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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Link to report.

In fairness to the reporter, the original draft reads: "Opposite the church is a large football ground, The New Den, home to Millwall FC."

Which means nothing to me. Sorry.

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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Zappa
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Hmmmm...

conversational angles?

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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:

In fairness to the reporter, the original draft reads: "Opposite the church is a large football ground, The New Den, home to Millwall FC."

So why was it changed?

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Mark Wuntoo
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Having spent 5 or more years conducting field research amongst the (then) new community churches, of which Hillsong would now be numbered, I was fascinated to read this report. It is well over 20 years since I was familiar with these churches and I have to say, on the basis of this Report, little may have changed.
The MW’er is to be commended on the graciousness shown in the Report towards the congregation. I think that the reception Ken T. Poste received was typical of some such churches, the larger ones, but untypical of others, those who are actively seeking to welcome people (often from other churches) so as to grow their numbers.
I well remember the noise, the darkness, the focus on what is going on at the front, the never-ending standing to sing and the rather thin theological basis for the churches and their existence.
Perhaps other similar churches have changed since the mid-1990’s?
Thanks to the MW’er for an excellent, interesting report.

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Bishops Finger
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Just what is it that draws such numbers of people to such a ghastly environment? Frankly, it sounds like one of the more unpleasant circles of Hell...

...O, I know - it's because they don't wear vestments, especially not cassock-albs!

IJ

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Angloid
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I would find it hard to recognise this as a 'church' in any meaningful sense. And if I'd been the MWer I think I would have put this in the 'other place' section: 'There were very few references to scripture in the entire service, and any that were there tended to come as isolated verses, used without context. The only time a particular version was referenced, it was to the Amplified Bible, which (Wikipedia tells me) "is designed to 'amplify' the text by using additional wording and a system of punctuation and other typographical features to bring out all shades of meaning present in the original texts."'

Presumably most of the Christians who prefer to worship like this would describe themselves as evangelicals. I may be a bit thick, but I thought one of the characteristics of being evangelical was a love of scripture and a determination to engage with it. Not to plunder it for purple passages to illustrate ones own prejudices.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Just what is it that draws such numbers of people to such a ghastly environment?

I know you asked the question with your tongue firmly wedged in your cheek - but it's a good one. There is clearly "something" which these churches are doing right to engage with a younger demographic - and it isn't this. But do "traditional" churches have to render up their souls (and leave their collective brains at the door) in order to be "successful" in this way?

It seems to me that the gap between "old church" and "new church" is wider than ever. Although the leaders of places like Hillsong will say that God is blessing them (and the leaders of traditional churches must get their heads out of the sand), one must ask some very serious questions about the future of church in places like Britain.

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Mark Wuntoo
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I wonder whether Eutychus can help to explain why people join these churches?

I was always amazed at the number of people with university higher degrees - doctors, psychologists, solicitors and so on - who appeared to be fully emersed in the worship and leadership of such churches. One explanation, in my opinion, would be that the exuberant worship is a form of escapism from a stressful life and/or work environment: after all, as someone said (not for the first time!) you can leave your brain at the door.
I know of one church where a man who was prominent in leading services was a highly skilled doctor whose task it was to attend accidents that involved serious injuries: I clearly remember it being stated publicly by an elder that this man especially needed the prayers of the congregation.
People need to 'let their hair down' and this form of worship offers one way for some people to do that. The friendship amongst members appears to be strong, although the pressures to conform and live close to one another(sometimes literally to facilitate things like car-sharing and baby-sitting) are strong.

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Bishops Finger
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Speaking of doors, I've heard it said, regarding such churches, that as many people leave by the back door (i.e. abandon the church) as come in through the front door (i.e. join the church).

Anecdotal, perhaps, but I wonder if it's true, or partially true, and what happens to those who do leave.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Speaking of doors, I've heard it said, regarding such churches, that as many people leave by the back door (i.e. abandon the church) as come in through the front door (i.e. join the church).

Anecdotal, perhaps, but I wonder if it's true, or partially true, and what happens to those who do leave.

IJ

Yes. I have no idea where the leavers go.

Only a few years ago, I challenged an elder of a New Frontiers' church about this. He agreed - I thought. But when we continued the conversation I found that those who go out the back door go because they 'won't accept the teaching of the church' and some of these people 'wanted to introduce new ideas'. [Ultra confused] For me, that 'said it all'!

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
... some of these people 'wanted to introduce new ideas'.

That sounds suspiciously like an old church mentality!
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Speaking of doors, I've heard it said, regarding such churches, that as many people leave by the back door (i.e. abandon the church) as come in through the front door (i.e. join the church).

Again, I don't know if that's true - it could be a negative rumour put out by leaders of traditional churches, or purely a natural consequence of younger people moving employment, residence and relationships pretty frequently.

However some (by no means all!) "new churches" really don't seem to last for very long (?possibly because they are highly predicated on one charismatic leader). There could also be the factor that something which really wows you one week will get samey over time and so you need to go elsewhere to renew the excitement.

Or perhaps I'm just being a crusty old fuddy-duddy!

[ 24. July 2017, 14:57: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Just what is it that draws such numbers of people to such a ghastly environment? Frankly, it sounds like one of the more unpleasant circles of Hell...

...O, I know - it's because they don't wear vestments, especially not cassock-albs!

IJ

[Overused]

The one thing that struck me in a good way was the huge sign saying "WELCOME HOME" above the entrace. It doesn't make up for the lack of personal welcome, but by itself it's a nice touch.

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
... some of these people 'wanted to introduce new ideas'.

That sounds suspiciously like an old church mentality!
Put that way I'd say it's a church mentality - but then I would, wouldn't I?

To go back a bit - many of the churches I researched were strongly controlling / authoritarian. This suits some people, of course. But, IMO, it's not healthy.

I've said this before, but it's worth repeating in this context, I think, if only to be fair. The 'new churches' did empower their members to be more out-going (for want of a better way of putting it). But, and it's a necessary big but, that empowerment only went so far - as far as the point at which members became a threat to the leadership.

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:

The one thing that struck me in a good way was the huge sign saying "WELCOME HOME" above the entrace. It doesn't make up for the lack of personal welcome, but by itself it's a nice touch.

I disagree. That notice would say to me 'This is where you should be, nowhere else, nowhere else can be your home. This is the end of your journey, no need to look anywhere else'. But maybe that's just me.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
But, and it's a necessary big but, that empowerment only went so far - as far as the point at which members became a threat to the leadership.

True of many churches - and other organisations where the leaders have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

[ 24. July 2017, 15:23: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
That notice would say to me 'This is where you should be, nowhere else, nowhere else can be your home. This is the end of your journey, no need to look anywhere else'. But maybe that's just me.

I think it shows hat notices can be read in different ways by different people. For some people with a great sense of spiritual homelessness or "anomie", the poster may be very positive. You and I would find it too "final".
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L'organist
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I'm not sure where I heard it, but I recall a snippet (maybe Radio 4's Sunday programme??) referring to a report that said researchers in New Zealand had found that if you looked at places like HTB, Hillsong or similar over an extended period you found that people dropped out of attendance after about 10 years, especially those who joined up when at university or in their early 20s.

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Baptist Trainfan
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The questions then are:

- why? Is it, for instance, because they get married, move house and get out of the church habit; or because work commitments become too onerous; or because they have to spend Sundays caring for aged parents; or because dislike the theology and style and/or get burned out by the pressure of church life?

- how does this compare to people, especially of similar age, in traditional churches?

This link may lead you to the research referenced (I have the book on my shelf, though I haven't opened it for ages!)

[ 24. July 2017, 15:34: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
But, and it's a necessary big but, that empowerment only went so far - as far as the point at which members became a threat to the leadership.

True of many churches - and other organisations where the leaders have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.
I think this points-up the ‘smallness’ of new churches. In general terms elders arise from within the congregation (not withstanding what I said about empowerment) as individuals prove themselves to be accepting of the beliefs and practices of the church leaders. They may subsequently move to be elders in another branch of the church but I guess that is not too common unless they are planting a new group under the auspices of the parent organisation.
In ‘mainstream’ churches, it seems to me, leaders will be glad to encourage members to go into training to become ministers, for example, and therefore they will not be a threat to their home church.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Just what is it that draws such numbers of people to such a ghastly environment? Frankly, it sounds like one of the more unpleasant circles of Hell...

...O, I know - it's because they don't wear vestments, especially not cassock-albs!

IJ

Yes, but it sounds like the kind of place where if they did wear vestments, cassock-albs would be what they'd wear!

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
something which really wows you one week will get samey over time

There's something to be said after all for liturgical seasons and the liturgical calendar, isn't there?

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"Stop your noisy songs; I do not want to listen to your praise bands." -- Amos 5:23, Good News Bible (modified)

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
Presumably most of the Christians who prefer to worship like this would describe themselves as evangelicals. I may be a bit thick, but I thought one of the characteristics of being evangelical was a love of scripture and a determination to engage with it.

This is speculative, since I have no particular knowledge of how Hillsong works.

There has always been a tendency among some evangelical church to separate "worship" (meaning singing songs, often with times of open prayer, short messages of encouragement, in more Charismatic settings tongues, prophecy etc) and "teaching". It's a form I've always struggled with, and I've never been comfortable in those forms of church. Most places I've known would, however, have had a preacher giving a message that was very Scripture heavy as a defined period of teaching between times of worship.

Many large churches would have their main periods of teaching happening in smaller groups mid-week. I assume that Hillsong would also have a programme of midweek meetings. In which case it could be that they have pushed the separation of "worship" and "teaching" to an extreme where they have a Sunday "worship" with minimal teaching, and midweek "teaching" so they don't even both happen during the same event.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
something which really wows you one week will get samey over time

There's something to be said after all for liturgical seasons and the liturgical calendar, isn't there?
Yes, and some variation in the style and format of worship, too.
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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
it sounds like the kind of place where if they did wear vestments, cassock-albs would be what they'd wear!

Oi!

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Speaking of doors, I've heard it said, regarding such churches, that as many people leave by the back door (i.e. abandon the church) as come in through the front door (i.e. join the church).

I've read that high octane, revivalistic, demanding Christianity does tend to involve revolving doors. But it's always been this way.

John Wesley's movement lost a lot of people who couldn't or wouldn't live up to his high expectations. Indeed, he sent a lot of people away because of this. Not for him the idea that church should be a place for challenging the leadership and developing your own perspectives.

Then as now, it also seems that some people are drawn to these environments out of curiosity, attracted by the lively communal atmosphere. If the attraction never goes much deeper than this, though, then these people might not stay for the long haul. And young people just find it easier to move on from everything these days.

quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
There is clearly "something" which these churches are doing right to engage with a younger demographic [....]But do "traditional" churches have to render up their souls (and leave their collective brains at the door) in order to be "successful" in this way?

It seems to me that the gap between "old church" and "new church" is wider than ever. [...] One must ask some very serious questions about the future of church in places like Britain.

Lots of commentators have asked questions and tried to provide answers, but the many challenges must seem overwhelming to many ordinary churches - and also to ordinary clergy. No doubt it takes a special kind of personality to run the sorts of churches that appeal to young people.

But there's also the obvious point that new churches have to be more committed to evangelism, because otherwise they'd have no members. The historical churches are further away from the stage at which evangelism was their way of being so it's harder for them.

I'm a bit concerned by your implication that 'brains' (i.e. the intellect) must remain a priority for the old mainstream churches. This is problem, because the postmodern person might want to experience something, not simply give weekly assent to a range of intellectual propositions emanating from the pulpit.

A high level of theological education among the clergy is not necessarily beneficial to their congregations, nor to evangelistic endeavour. Still, I'm not trying to knock education. I just think that we need to strike a better balance.

[ 25. July 2017, 01:43: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Mark Wuntoo:
quote:
Originally posted by Al Eluia:

The one thing that struck me in a good way was the huge sign saying "WELCOME HOME" above the entrace. It doesn't make up for the lack of personal welcome, but by itself it's a nice touch.

I disagree. That notice would say to me 'This is where you should be, nowhere else, nowhere else can be your home. This is the end of your journey, no need to look anywhere else'. But maybe that's just me.
I can see that. I guess I took it more as a statement that you're welcomed unconditionally as if you're at home with family. Of course that's presuming a lot about one's family!

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
. Still, I'm not trying to knock education. I just think that we need to strike a better balance.

Yes, I'm sure you're right. Personally I like the forensic/didactic "Reformed" style but I realise that it's not for everyone. Many folk indeed do want a worship "experience" which of course could be an aesthetically-beautiful cathedral service or an Orthodox liturgy just as much as a high-octane praise session. The question then must be whether the churches in fact need to bow to this post-modern god of "experience" if they are to grow; and, if so, what then happens to churches that simply can't offer it. (Or to ask whether this is nothing more than capitulation to the predominant culture of the age?)
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Zappa
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The last point (parenthesized) is I think critical - and an area of strength to the Orthodoxen who will have no bar of modernizing compromise. I suspect the more trad forms may see a renewal of interest in the next two decades and the world of "relevance" [Projectile] dies its death and transcendence regains its hold in human longing

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Al Eluia

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
The question then must be whether the churches in fact need to bow to this post-modern god of "experience" if they are to grow; and, if so, what then happens to churches that simply can't offer it. (Or to ask whether this is nothing more than capitulation to the predominant culture of the age?)

I think churches should do well what they do most authentically. If my liturgically MOTR Episcopal parish were to try the "praise music with band" style it would totally phony. I don't even know where we'd put the screen up as the architecture doesn't allow for it (why didn't they foresee PowerPoint in 1920?). It's probably best for us to be the best, most joyful organ-and-choir hymn-singing, Anglican-chanting congregation we can be.

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Consider helping out the Anglican Seminary in El Salvador with a book or two! https://www.amazon.es/registry/wishlist/YDAZNSAWWWBT/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_ws_7IRSzbD16R9RQ
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
The last point (parenthesized) is I think critical - and an area of strength to the Orthodoxen who will have no bar of modernizing compromise.

Yet, paradoxically, the very "otherness" of Orthodoxy is what attracts some people.

quote:
I suspect the more trad forms may see a renewal of interest in the next two decades and the world of "relevance" dies its death and transcendence regains its hold in human longing
I wish I shared your optimism, but I think such a radical shift has taken place that I'm not sure we will be able to turn back that particular clock - at least for a large proportion of people.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes, I'm sure you're right. Personally I like the forensic/didactic "Reformed" style but I realise that it's not for everyone. Many folk indeed do want a worship "experience" which of course could be an aesthetically-beautiful cathedral service or an Orthodox liturgy just as much as a high-octane praise session. The question then must be whether the churches in fact need to bow to this post-modern god of "experience" if they are to grow; and, if so, what then happens to churches that simply can't offer it. (Or to ask whether this is nothing more than capitulation to the predominant culture of the age?)

One thing I've noticed recently is that there seem to be a large number of worshippers at various types of church across the range of styles (from say Cathedral liturgical through to Charismatic) who seem only to be interested in consuming the worship experience and nothing else.

It's almost like they're full-time Mystery Worshippers and once it is over they leave. Presumably to go home and write notes about what they liked/disliked about the service..

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arse

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venbede
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I don’t understand the sentence in the report “Every part of the service seemed planned down to the minutiae”.

I have no first hand experience of Pentecostal worship, but I thought it was meant to be spontaneous.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:


I have no first hand experience of Pentecostal worship, but I thought it was meant to be spontaneous.

Hahaha. "And now lets have a spontaneous round of applause.."

Almost nothing is spontaneous.

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arse

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Mark Wuntoo
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
I don’t understand the sentence in the report “Every part of the service seemed planned down to the minutiae”.

I have no first hand experience of Pentecostal worship, but I thought it was meant to be spontaneous.

I'll go with the Mw'er - but I bet Hillsong wouldn't. I'm a bit surprised that the church hasn't commented - perhaps they need to have 'the mind of the Spirit' first (as agreed by the elders / bishops / apostles or whatever hierarchy they have).

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Blessed are the cracked for they let in the light.

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Baptist Trainfan
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I have a book on my shelf called "Liturgy and Freedom", written by a Baptist Minister working in a charismatic Anglican church (about 15 years ago). He describes worship (and I quote from memory) as something like "a spontaneous planned Spirit-led happening" - which I like!
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
There seem to be a large number of worshippers ... who seem only to be interested in consuming the worship experience and nothing else.

Which means it's all about "them" rather than about God. Is that inevitable in today's society; if so, should the churches "pander" to it or challenge it? Not easy.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I have a book on my shelf called "Liturgy and Freedom", written by a Baptist Minister working in a charismatic Anglican church (about 15 years ago). He describes worship (and I quote from memory) as something like "a spontaneous planned Spirit-led happening" - which I like!

Each to their own - but to me claiming that something is spontaneous when in fact it is so organised as to be essentially liturgical is dishonest.

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arse

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Baptist Trainfan
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I tend to agree - although none of us is quite as spontaneous as we think we are because we are all influenced by trigger factors we may not be aware of. Not the same as planning something and then saying it's spontaneous, I agree.
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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
One thing I've noticed recently is that there seem to be a large number of worshippers at various types of church across the range of styles (from say Cathedral liturgical through to Charismatic) who seem only to be interested in consuming the worship experience and nothing else.

I think doctrine is a problem. People don't particularly care to be told what to believe; that's now down to personal choice.

This is true for moderate Methodists, who no longer attend class meetings, as much as for Pentecostals, whose movement was never focused on the minutiae of doctrine, or for the 'broad church' CofE, or for RCs, who'll take communion but don't care much about the sermon, or any church pronouncements about family life.

And the cynical pew-sitter in me often feels that theology exists primarily as a hobby for the clergy, and for other cerebral churchy types. It's not what most people want religion for.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
... A high level of theological education among the clergy is not necessarily beneficial to their congregations, nor to evangelistic endeavour. Still, I'm not trying to knock education. I just think that we need to strike a better balance.

But Svitlana, is there anything beneficial, evangelistic or edifying about a message that is ill-prepared, by somebody who may be well-meaning, may even be fervent, but appears not to have the ability to think perceptively about the things of the kingdom, and which doesn't hold water intellectually?

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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SvitlanaV2
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The preacher was perhaps poorly prepared. I wonder why. Was she stepping in for someone else? Perhaps she was in training. It's a shame the MW wasn't able to ask anyone about this over coffee after the service.

Still, the MW didn't say the preacher was incompetent, or that she'd been dismissive of Scripture. I've heard many 'mainstream' sermons, and not all of them have made careful reference to Bible passages. My main issue here would have been the length of the sermon; a 47 minute monologue from someone who admits straight up that they don't like preaching would have been painful for me to sit through.

The lack of welcome for the MW was a shame, but not uncommon in churches, sadly. The upside, though, is that some people want to disappear at church, and large congregations make that easier.

It also occurs to me that this report is excellent proof that sermons aren't much good at changing people's habits, as John Wesley and many others have realised. Telling people to be friendly to visitors isn't the same as showing them how.

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Sipech
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*Rips off mask*
It was I that wrote this particular report. Let’s see if I can answer a few points or add clarity.

First, when it comes to questions like “why do people join these churches” I would urge caution against ‘Othering’. The people who choose to be part of a church like Hillsong are, in my view, our brothers and sisters. They may not belong to the same part of the wider Church as Anglicans, Baptists or Methodists, but one is reminded of 1 Corinthians 12. Different ways of doing church will appeal to different people; if there is a genuine desire to find out why, my best suggestion would be to go along and try to talk to the people there. Speculation from afar off or listening to the sour grapes of those who’ve left is perhaps not the best substitute for first hand testimony. That is, if someone is willing to talk to you. [Roll Eyes]

I’d echo Alan Cresswell, in that I did get the impression that more of the teaching was done “behind closed doors” in small groups or other meetings that don’t take place during Sunday mornings. The main concern I did have was that the “I have decided” course was quite short (4 sessions). But then again, maybe it was meant more for spiritual milk than meat; for that, I could not begrudge them.

As for the statement that the sermon was theologically thin, again I would urge caution. We are called to love God with all our heart, soul and mind; some churches might emphasise one of these over and above the other. I certainly saw more passion in one morning at Hillsong than I’ve seen in a year’s worth of an FIEC Baptist church. I sometimes wonder that if we do love God and our neighbours, how important is theological exactitude? I can find points on which to disagree with just about anyone, but why bother, when you can embrace them as sibling in Christ? [Biased]

Venbede – there was almost nothing spontaneous here. In this respect, though different in style, it was quite reminiscent of high Anglo-Catholicism, where there is an idea of doing things “the right way” which invariably involves some kind of stage management. In this respect, Hillsong seems quite unlike other Pentecostal churches. A criticism made by charismatics (among whom I count myself) is that having scripts and carefully choreographed proceedings means there’s no room afforded for the Holy Spirit. Though having been to some truly free-for-all services, I can appreciate the need for a modicum of planning and order.

SvitlanaV2 – I got the impression that the preacher was quite experienced at public speaking, but that experience didn’t bring any great level of comfort. She said that she was speaking about something that had been on her heart. It clearly wasn’t part of a series that many churches might do, whether going through a particular book or a theme. It felt very much like a one-off.

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
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ExclamationMark
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Perhaps the speaker is being a little (or more) disingenuous in an attempt to get people on her side.

It's a bit like those speakers who apologise at the start for the message they are going to preach about (not prepared, very tough, new thinking etc). IMHO if you don't like preaching, don't do it plus you should never apologise for God's word ...only if it turns out being your own.

My own recent experience of attending some well known evangelical churches is that they are lighter on scripture than I would expect. Preaching seems to be moving to "lifestyle" and away from "life".

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
IMHO if you don't like preaching, don't do it

I'm not sure about that. I think most people at some point in their life are "called" to do something they don't like. I don't particularly like public speaking, yet I have a job where that is part of what I'm expected to do. I have had too work hard, with some help from courses on public speaking, to overcome my inherent reserve and dislike of being the centre of attention. I have been an occasional preacher for several years, because there were times when the church I was at needed someone to preach (initially during the ministers sabbatical, then while we were without a minister, and now where we have a full-time minister for a group pastorate of three congregations so can't preach every week). Though it's not something I particularly like it is something I can do, and there's a need I can fill.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Jengie jon

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Actually, there maybe another reason why the speaker was poorly prepared. There is a tradition in English Nonconformity where preparation of sermon is seen as distrust of the Holy Spirit.

Thus the fact that she came across as badly prepared would be a sign of her virtue rather than a criticism.

Please note I do not subscribe to this view but am aware that it exists, in fact, was normative among nonconformists about two centuries ago.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

Back to my blog

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Alan Cresswell

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There certainly is that tradition in many churches, but since the report says she was reading from notes doesn't seem to be the case here.

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Sipech
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Actually, there maybe another reason why the speaker was poorly prepared. There is a tradition in English Nonconformity where preparation of sermon is seen as distrust of the Holy Spirit.

Thus the fact that she came across as badly prepared would be a sign of her virtue rather than a criticism.

Please note I do not subscribe to this view but am aware that it exists, in fact, was normative among nonconformists about two centuries ago.

Jengie

Strange. The report doesn't state she was poorly prepared. Where did you take that inference from?

As someone whose spent 30+ years in and around nonconformist churches, the idea of a lack of preparation being seen as a virtue is a new one on me.

In the baptist church I grew up in, the preparation of the sermon was the single largest piece of work the pastor did in a week. He'd cross reference scripture, various commentaries and a selection of theologians (with a preference for Martyn LLoyd-Jones and Charles Spurgeon). Contrast this with the first time I went to Anglican church and the sermon consisted of the vicar holding up newspaper headlines and saying "As Christians, this is what we should think about this".
[Disappointed]

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheAlethiophile

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Wayward Crucifer
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
I don’t understand the sentence in the report “Every part of the service seemed planned down to the minutiae”.

I have no first hand experience of Pentecostal worship, but I thought it was meant to be spontaneous.

Although the conversation has moved in, I have had some involvement with a Church that uses this style of Worship, and that meant that I occasionally got sent their service plan. It looked very roughly something like this:

code:
  Time	Event				Duration
10:58 Countdown video
11:00 Opening song: "Title 1" 00:03
11:03 Welcome 00:01
11:04 Song: "Title 2" 00:03
11:07 Song: "Title 3" 00:03
11:10 Song: "Title 4" 00:05
11:15 Song: "Title 3" - repeat 00:03
11:18 Song: "Title 5" 00:03
11:21 Prayers 00:04
11:25 News video 00:04
11:29 Peace - Collection 00:04
11:33 Reading 00:04
11:37 Talk 00:24
12:01 Ministry 00:06
12:07 Song: "Title 6" 00:04
12:11 Song: Title 7" 00:04
12:15 Song: Title 8" 00:03
12:18 Dismissal 00:01
12:19 Closing slides

On each occasion, it ran nearly to the minute - digital clocks were on view to those at the front.

I would also note though, that they did, if they decided to (collectively through the various people leading), change their choices/schedule if they felt that something was happening spontaneously that needed time to be nourished or to grow.

I also think that, if asked, they would share that the service was this specifically planned, even if it was mostly given an Air of Spontaneity in implementation.

Wayward

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"it is folly -- it is madness -- to suppose that you can worship Jesus in the Sacraments and Jesus on the Throne of glory, when you are sweating him in the souls and bodies of his children. It cannot be done."
Frank Weston, Bishop of Zanzibar

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