Are you tired of Chicken McNuggets? Are you tired of being “part of the crowd?” Do you reluctantly wear a hat that suggests it will fit any head? More importantly, are you weary of “one size fits all” worship?
You may, as it turns out (thank God), not be part of “The Great Majority!” The good news, however, is that you may just be a leader!
I thought I wasn’t part of them (the Chicken McNuggeters) either, then, to my horror, I discovered I had been co-dependent with them for years. I was pathologically anxious to be part of them. I thought they were my “peeps.” Now? I’m slightly sick of them. I’m sick for them. I, most likely, may be sick with them!
Decades ago (yes, as in a million years) I discovered that the church was changing ever so gradually into something more...well, “user friendly.” My then boss and pastor stopped by my office to show me a copy of a song called We Are the Church
written by Richard Avery
and Don Marsh
, a pastor and his musician cohort. It was what we later might have called a “Christian ditty.” It made Fanny Crosby
seem like G. F. Handel
In many ways, these two respectable Presbyterian sidekicks from Port Jervis, New York were intentionally changing the face of the American mainline church more than even the often snubbed (now beloved) Bill and Gloria Gaither
’s love of simple (and often, obvious) sunday-school-like melodies and words were the precursors of what we now call, for lack of a better name, the contemporary church.
I’m not a snob, but I looked both up and down my nose when my then pastor shoved this music in front of my eyes with the words, “Doug, this is where the church is going.” “Really?,” I said. Other pastors (some more famous, some less) have said much the same thing to me over the years. Let it be said, “This is where the church is going,” is to me as a red cape is to the snorting bull. It is a banal observation at best.
Who, after all, are these people to say that the church is headed in one direction or another. Let me be clear—for good or ill—I love ALL kinds of sacred music. I have over a hundred performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion
under my belt (I sing the role of Jesus—NOT type casting). I’ve enjoyed scores of exhilarating and db-busting Christian “worship concerts” with guys like Crowder and Tomlin. I cry during every Gaither “Homecoming” DVD I (secretly) watch.
Don’t stereotype me! Oh, and please don’t tell me where the church is going...like you’d know. YOU don’t! I am not part of YOUR “movement into the future.” I never was, and I don’t plan to be any time soon.
Surely we have better things to do, bigger fish to fry, and deeper thoughts to think than this “where the church is going” nonsensical claptrap. We are adults with full lives, not limited to the radio stations we listen to and the TV shows we watch. We weep, laugh, and hurt intensely when life happens to us. There’s a lot to us!
We, as leaders, need to be individuals with opinions, individuality, and candor.