I love comics. And I love Jesus. Where ever possible, I try and combine the two. But there’s one church in the US that’s taking it to the next level – running a church in a comic book store. The Point Community Church in Kentucky run their Sunday services out of the local comic shop, rearranging the store displays to make room for everyone and then preaching the gospel of Jesus. Half an hour after the service is finished, every thing is back in place and ready to sell the latest issue of Batman.
I can’t think of any other time in my day to day life that I stand up with a whole bunch of other people and read out loud a large slab of text. Not since primary school anyway. But when the guy leading the service at church tells us it’s time to say the creed, that’s what happens. Why do we do that? Every other time we stand up together at least there’s music playing for some Christian Karaoke.
… sorry about that.
I’m sure I’m not alone in our fast-paced world. Generally speaking, we like things to happen immediately, if not sooner. We get frustrated if the traffic lights take too long to turn green. We prefer headlines over long news articles. If a movie is longer than 90 minutes, it better have some big explosions to keep us from fidgeting in our seats.
Which is why I sometimes think it strange that when Christians meet together, they sit down and listen to someone talk for a solid length of time. With attention spans (allegedly) getting shorter, why do we all gather in a room on a Sunday and listen to a sermon together?
I love video games. I can’t remember a time where I haven’t owned a computer or a console. But should video games be a part of the church service?
Over at Christ and Pop Culture, Richard Clark looks at a church that is incorporating a Playstation game into their church service.
I find myself torn over things like this. I’m excited whenever anyone takes seriously the artistic nature of certain games, especially when they are appreciated in unlikely places. Then again, even as an editor for a web site about popular culture, I view the corporate worship service as an event distinctly set apart from our daily life. While playing games on my own or with friends is often an act of personal worship, in the corporate worship sphere I prefer a more historically based focus on those acts which bring the congregation together more purposefully: group prayer, singing, proclamation of scripture. Those are things that are spelled out for us in scripture – my concern is that adding elements of popular culture into this setting only muddles the corporate nature of the service.
Personally, I find this part of a disturbing trend of moving away from Word based ministry. When the focus during church is placed on human creativity and expression and away from the reading of God’s Word, the Bible, it becomes more about us than about God. And at that point, what’s the point of church? If we’re not gathered to hear God’s Word and encourage each other to love and serve our heavenly Father, then is it really church?
There are certain words you just don’t use. Most of them are four letter words. You know what words I’m talking about. You don’t need me to tell you what they are. There’s this one four letter word that I have a particular problem with. It’s a word that is perfectly fine in some situations, but when used in other situations it gets me really worked up. I’d like to see this word banned from these situations. Crossed out of the dictionary and never used that way ever again.
That word is “just”.
At the start of this year, I took on a new role at my church. I went from being a student minister (1 day a week) to the Associate Minister of St Luke’s Liverpool (I think it’s an 8 day a week job, but I haven’t figured out how that works yet). One of the benefits of this new role is that I upgraded to a bigger office. One of the downsides is that I’m actually expected to work, so punching out articles has become harder.
Anyways, last week some friends of mine who are youth ministers were sharing photos of their desks on Facebook. I thought that other people may be interested in checking out my workspace. You’ll notice that there aren’t as many toys in current office as there were in my previous home office. Trying to think through the issues of minimalism vs fun. Any suggestions? What’s missing?