Disclaimer: This post is not meant to be harsh or judgmental, or to criticize any particular church, denomination, etc. It is simply my opinion and a personal prayer of mine. However, I do welcome your comments and thoughts on any of the items below. 🙂
As many of us look forward to returning to church, here are five things that I pray never return with us…in no particular order:
1. Mood lights during praise and worship. Personally, I don’t need a colored light suggesting what mood I need to be in…I want to worship the Lord in all of my moods.
2. A dark and gloomy sanctuary (while I’m on the topic of praise and worship). Aren’t we supposed to be “children of light” (John 12:36) and “walk in the light, as He is in the light” so that “we have fellowship with one another”? (1 John 1:7). I know that the reference to light here alludes to Jesus, but Jesus uses light to refer to Himself for a reason. Furthermore, are we supposed to focus on the performance of the worship band/choir…or the living God?
3. The anonymous altar call. I pray that I never again hear the words “with every head bowed and eye closed” during one of the most crucial event in someone’s life. Honestly, how in the world are we supposed to disciple new believers in Christ if we never know who they are…I mean, we’ve already set the tone by suggesting that ‘giving their life to Christ’ should be done in secret…all the while the host of heaven is rejoicing over their saved soul! (Luke 15:7)
4. Time limits/constraints. We pray for revival and for God to show His glory…but only during the one-two times we meet during the week. This reeks of arrogance and entitlement, both of which God detests! I know this is a tough question for many of us but…what else in our lives are more important than Him? What would you do if He took all of it away? Many of us are getting a taste of this right now in our present circumstances.
5. Separation of families. Ask yourself: have I enjoyed having my whole family worship together in my home during this quarantine period? It seems to me that, over the last 20+ years, we’ve forgotten the value of children observing their elders worship God in a corporate setting. In addition, when we hear statistics telling us that young adults are leaving the church at an alarming rate, we fail to realize that this statistic has one fatal flaw…for many churches, children/teens were never part of the church because they had their own juvenile version of it…they were never part of the main congregation. Just something to think about. Also, I know there is value in having children/teens meet together separately each week, but they should also participate in at least one of the main services…preferably with their parents. I speak from personal experience when I tell you that the things they will learn from their elders in the corporate worship setting will help shape the rest of their spiritual lives.
So there you have it…the five things I pray never return to church. Ultimately, I pray that no thing or doctrine returns to our churches that quenches Holy Spirit, holds Him back in any way, or declares what He does and doesn’t do today…I say let Him decide for Himself from here on out how He wants to glorify Jesus Christ among us! Let us be spiritually and physically ready, willing, and able to both hear His call and assist Him whenever called upon…without doubt or hesitation.