Thursday, December 25, 2008

experience at the episcopal church

Last night I went to a Christmas eve Episcopal service with a friend. She warned me before hand that it was a lot different than my church and that I might hate it. Haha that's always a great way to prep someone for something.. "Yea, umm.. this might totally suck, but we're gonna' have a blast!"So I was going in not really knowing what to expect.

As it turns out, I actually had a pretty good time. It was extremely different than my church, but it was pretty cool experiencing their church service. Plus, I got to drink real wine for the first time, so I got to be exposed to that side of culture as well.. haha. Unfortunately I woke up this morning with a hang over..

No but seriously, here are some of my thoughts on the night.

Everything was very routine. If you're a regular attender, you know exactly what is about to happen the entire time. That is just a matter of preference, but to me that makes it hard to reach people because they feel a little awkward not knowing what to do. All the prayers and stuff that the priests say are prayers that are already written down. They read them aloud and the congregation then also has a part in the prayer. That is a pretty cool aspect of the service, hearing all the people saying simple truths about God in unison, but I think it also takes away some authenticity. To me, God is worshiped the greatest when we speak our own thoughts to Him.

I guess that's really the main thing that stuck out to me. If the tradition represented in that type of service helps people worship and truly connect with God, then that is great. For me, however, it's easier to see the massiveness of what Jesus did for me when there are two electric guitars, an awesome keyboard station, a drummer effectively using the crash, and a flaring bass player all tightly playing an anthem together. Like for instance Glory to God by Steve Fee.

I did have a great time at the service though, and I'm glad I went. It's always good to observe things like that to see how you can improve your own ministry, because to me the ultimate purpose of ministry is to make it easy for people to experience God.

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