For: I treasure Christian company; hearing the Bible read, corporate prayer, singing, the sermon.
- doubled up songs: stand to sing two often banal songs (although sometimes we have classic or re-worked hymns with words that contain thoughts...scripture...theology)
- folksy compere who thinks we are at the village fair 50 years ago
- hardly any prayer, and that sometimes people from the congregation who pop up...OK in concept but too much pregnant pause, and the same contenders are at it each time
- an attenuated Bible reading. Tokanistic
- having the 'chat to your neighbour' session that too short to be meaningful and too long to be not embarassing as we search for small talk to fill the unknown duration
- looking at the bare and ill considered (design by not thinking) front of the auditorium with bits and pieces of stuff just thrown together, left there for no reason...hardly part of praising God, to which we were encourged in recent sermons...one dopey vase with domestic scale flowers, one vase stand from a previous generation just standing over to one side, an unfinished home handyman cover to the baptistry, a dull end wall with a projection screen on it, like this is a class room (and even they are more interesting these days), a clutter of musical instruments to one side including an old boxy electronic organ, a little back room upright bar piano of which we only see the ugly framing and a few music stands, a sound desk conspicuous at the front of the seating and large enough to run a TV station -- all yuck.
Its like we have a half-baked 'seeker sensitive service', but no seekers.
When I was a 'seeker' I went to St James, King Street in Sydney where there was depth of effort, art, beauty, tradition, and enjoyment of the scriptures, prayer and music, people were respected by this, and the surroundings were from the mind of one of Australia's most significant early architects. It said to me that this people were serious about enjoying every dimension of being Christian.