Our Church is So Slack!

This is a pic I took of my daughter Casile and her best friend Emily. I asked what they thought was the best and the worst of our church. They like the fact that our church is so “slack”, is what they said… there’s no dressing up and everything’s relaxed. During “worship” you can stand, sit, wander around, talk, drink coffee and eat donuts, or sleep on the floor. Whatever. Even during the “sermon” there’s discussion, disagreement, and dialogue. It is slack. The worst? Not enough youth their age. Although the average age of our church may be around 30 years old, older teens aren’t prevalent. I don’t blame them. We may be slack but not slack enough. From what I know of teens, and I own three of them, they have no interest whatsoever in perpetuating an institution. None at all. But it’s the youth such as these two pictured here that have my heart somehow.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://www.theliquidcell.com/transforming provoked

    If I were to attend a church — that is the way I would want it to be.

  • http://celticcaston.blogspot.com Kelly

    I like it being slack, but I wouldn’t call it slack I’d call it real!
    Alot of church, to me, seem ridged and stuck on how they think things are SUPPOSED to be, and if anyone acts different its ohhh so very bad!
    Why can’t you drink tea while you listen??? I think its great!

  • http://hgrant.blogspot.com hannah

    getting KV youth into a church is a huge thing. I remember when i was in high school thinking that the only christian people my age that i knew were….well….nerds. (obviously i had a bit of judgment)
    but really, to reach out to youth is to do very opposite of church. no preaching at – but relationship….ability to have difference of opinion without feeling the legalism.
    and for freak sakes, fun things, other than like a glow in the dark games night!!! jeesh!
    i tell ya, if i ever lived here again. i would make it my project.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    here’s a personal invitation!

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    I must say, we have people who love youth and are interested in working with them. We have one couple in particular who has been, but because the “program” was falling flat and wasn’t cutting it, plus the fact that they saw and felt the emptiness of it… well, we canned it. Now we are waiting for revelation and clarity as to what to do next.

  • http://www.theliquidcell.com/transforming provoked

    I don’t know if my wife would go for that sort of trip every Sunday, I hear it is a long drive from Texas to Rothesay. :D

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    true. where in texas?

  • http://www.theliquidcell.com/transforming provoked

    Just North of Houston in a little town called Conroe.

  • kari

    Here’s a thought David…I (others as well) could use a pastor and a friend here in Houston (just a short drive away from Conroe…(I’m actually cycling close to Conroe on Feb.3 in “Bike Through the Forest” in Kingwood). This is an open invitation to come on down…invite for the pastoral part, not the bike ride.

    Please, no nasty emails from my Rothesay family.

    Re: “From what I know of teens, and I own three of them, they have no interest whatsoever in perpetuating an institution. None at all.”

    Owning three teens as well (and another child fast approaching the teen years), I would fully agree. It seems that they do have some desire for spirituality, faith and service. I hope we can encourage and nurture these areas.

    Let me know when you can drop by Dave (and family).

  • Jacquelyn

    Well, in that case David, let me trird the invite – as long as you come to the Dallas area!!! What’s with the Texas connection?

  • Jacquelyn

    oops… third

  • http://www.armensblog.com Armen

    I strongly disagree here David. In my opinion, the worship of God is SUPPOSED to be different than our other commitments. Sitting drinking tea and chatting while in worship cannot even be classed as worship surely. We are to worship “in spirit and in truth” not ‘in conversation and relaxation’.

    My home church in Northern Ireland is what some of you would term ‘strict’ and yet we have what I would call a thriving youth. This is a complete guess, but I would say that at least 25% are 25 years old or younger.

    Society today shuns boundaries and restrictions, but all over and through the Bible there are ‘restrictions’, but it tells us that “his commandments are not grevious.” Permitting ‘loose’ worship is only satisfying the carnality and sinful nature of men.

    It’s not about what we can do to make people attend, it’s about honouring God and He’ll bring the people in by the power of the Spirit.

    Again, this is my opinion, but I believe it to be biblical.

  • Jacquelyn

    I have been blessed to be able to work with youth and young adults for most of my adult life and I hope and pray I get to for many, many more years to come!!! They are so full of life, are so hungry, so zealous, and haven’t half the issues I’ve got! lol

  • http://blueskysurrender.wordpress.com Rob Brockman

    Sometimes I wonder how slack we are supposed to be in our congregations. The church I used to attend was definately not slack at all. It had stiff pews, strict format, and nothing ever changed. When I started going, and attempted to give a bit more flavor to the worship with the addition of my guitar, there were some problems. At the time I was concerned because ‘all churches should have guitar at LEAST!”…
    Not to say there is anything wrong with guitar’r or big worship teams, or tea during service, or freedom to ask question and discussion…i think those are brilliant and would love all of those in a church.
    But i don’t think the problem is in our churches, more as it is in our youth. I do not think we should ignore their cries and just force them to sit in church and participate, whether they like it or not…there definately needs to be some slackness….but sometimes I just WONDER…how far is too far?
    Kids I was working with were always complaing that church is boring. I tried a youth night, where there was loug music, pizza, a short talk, and still kids were;nt that interested….So if I’m doing everything I can to accomodate to them, and STILL it is not good enough…maybe it’s not the program, or the church, or the format that is the problem…but it’s the way our youth think, act, and perhaps what they are taught…who knows….that is the problem….Cause I used to find church boring and yada yada, but I sort of grew up, and realized what was more important…I grew in my walk with Jesus and learned more…but during the transition, man o man it was rough…so I think the real crunch is how do we keep them interested in the transition…but when do we stop helping them and start accomodating them? Is there something wrong with the latter? This is where I am in my journey…

  • BrianM

    Armen, you’re confusing biblical with traditional lad. How are “in spirit and truth” and “in conversation and relaxation” mutually exclusive? Is there no truth or spirit in conversation or relaxation?

    I’ve seen a lot more people come to know Jesus through tea and chat sessions than I have seen in them getting dressed up and looking at the back of someone else’s head for an hour and a half or REAL worship.

    And are tea and chatting really satisfying the carnality and sinful nature of men? Men aren’t that boring I think. Now, offer lap dances and free pot and you might convince me the church is appealing to carnality and the sinful nature of men.

    Love Northern Ireland though. Duke Special is my hero.

  • http://blueskysurrender.wordpress.com Rob Brockman

    It’s like auditory vs. (that type of learning that you must actually DO the work) learning. We all learn in different ways, and we all benefit more in certain types of teaching. If to someone, learning by sitting and having a service which is more like a house church with open conversation and dialogue, then the more power to them (rememeber, thats how the early church started off….read Acts). I dont think there is a SET way we should do church, NOR should we critique other forms that work. We must judge by the fruits (Matthew 7:17-20) IF we are to judge at all…which we are told to not do. Of course, heresy is something that needs to be judged obviously…but I see no heresy here. I don’t believe, however, that we necissarily MUST change for the right reasons…

  • http://blueskysurrender.wordpress.com Rob Brockman

    sorry I said that last sentance wrong, I believe we should ONLY change for the right reasons…

  • http://www.armensblog.com Armen

    BrianM

    “I’ve seen a lot more people come to know Jesus through tea and chat sessions than I have seen in them getting dressed up and looking at the back of someone else’s head for an hour and a half or REAL worship.”

    That may be the case, but I really think the two should be kept seperate. If it’s a ‘worship service’ then how can it also be a ‘chat session’? Surely there should be a sense of awe when before God? Can we be in awe while discussing things the person beside us? I think it would be difficult.

  • BrianM

    Armen, I’m constantly awed by the things people share with me. A ‘testimony’ doesn’t mean you have to go to the front and grab the mic and follow some form.

    A few days ago I was chatting with someone who has gone through incredible trouble and suffering and they were telling me how good God has been through it all. I was awed and humbled by Christ in them and the presence of God in that moment.

    People were amazed by Jesus all the time, awed even, but we don’t have much recorded of him attending worship services.

    I’ve attended meetings though where the worship leader or pastor or pray-er is obviously put off by the crying baby or talking teens who seem pretty sure they’ll scare off the Holy Spirit. These folks are practicing theatrics, not theology.

    The presence of God can come in a Karaoke bar, a deliver room in a hospital or a slum in Calcutta, or a noisy day like Pentecost and awe will be felt. Atmosphere is does not dictate the suddenly or it’s not really God is it?

  • http://www.armensblog.com Armen

    I meant awe as a reaction, not a feeling. However, there is little point discussing this further. If you feel comfortable coming to God in whatever fashion you please, then that’s between you and God.


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