The Union Recorder

Columns

November 20, 2013

HODGES: What should worship look like?

MILLEDGEVILLE — There are several different kinds of worship experiences ranging from Pentecostal to high church liturgical. That has something to do with why there are so many denominations, and it would be foolish to suggest that there ought to be just one worship style for everyone.

Even in the Catholic church there are variations on the Mass. While they have a standard form for Mass, nevertheless there are some different ways of doing it.

I mentioned in my last article that there are nearly 40,000 people in Baldwin County and less than half that population belongs to any church. Of those who are members, less than half those will be anywhere near regular in attending worship.

If we churches were a business, we might ask ourselves, “If we have a product that everyone needs, a product that would make this an amazing community, but only about 20 percent of the people are shopping with us, what do we need to do to make ourselves more attractive to the community?”

I have had an opportunity to visit several of our churches in the county, both big churches and very small churches, and I have seen that we are doing worship the way we have been doing it for at least 50 years. This does not take into account the contemporary worship services, but even there we are very similar in our approach to worship. Basically, worship is inviting people to sing a few songs, usually listen to the preacher offer a long prayer, take an offering and hear a sermon ranging from 15 minutes to 30 or more minutes. Keep in mind that there are still variations on this theme.

What I have not seen is a particular church that draws more and more people, and what I know is that most of our churches have not grown substantially in years. Most of our churches are about the same size as they were 25 years ago.

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