So what is authentic worship? It’s a question going through my mind today. Or maybe authentic worship isn’t the right term. I started to think about worship and church this morning because of some great conversations I had yesterday with people who come at life from different perspectives.
One of the conversations I had was with a student who isn’t an atheist, but doesn’t really know what he believes about God either. This was an interesting conversation and one I greatly enjoyed. He asked me questions and I asked him questions. Questions about God, what is church really, going to church, etc. He talked about going once or twice a year out of tradition, but not any more than that because, well, it was boring.
I probed a little further and asked if he felt this way because he didn’t see how church was relevant to his life and he looked right at me and said “yeah, that’s it.”
The conversation went on. But this got me thinking. This is a person who isn’t afraid to talk about God, but just doesn’t know what he believes about God. Why? He never has a chance to talk about this type of thing. The church/pastors he knows are not approachable. The other people he hangs with don’t talk about these type of things either because, well, if you don’t know what you believe about a subject, you typically avoid the subject. The people who are supposed to know something about it aren’t approachable. So, you just put it off.
Now understand, I’m not here to rip on churches in other lands. I don’t know enough about the situation, or the history, or the context. Plus, that doesn’t really accomplish anything either. All I can do is try to see how I can use this information in the future and in a different context.
When I woke up this morning, with this conversation still on my mind, I started to wonder – what would a church that was relevant to a person like this look like? What would it be doing? What would it be saying? What would it be known for? Where would it be? What would the people look like who were doing “ministry”? Where would you find them?
Many questions. I don’t have the answer for these. I do know this much – There are a lot of people out there who want to talk about God, but they just don’t know how, or where, or with who. They don’t feel welcome in a traditional church for a variety of reasons. But they have questions and thoughts and want to talk and sort things out.
I feel fortunate enough to have talked with one such person in a bar, on their terms, with their language, talking about what they wanted to talk about.