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Day 39: What’s in a Church Service Name

Posted by undergroundchurch on March 19, 2011


Perusing the local Saturday paper, I noticed the assortment of church service titles.

Several church groups have multiple gathering times and each of them have  a name. There are services called:

  • Traditional Worship Service
  • Contemporary Service
  • Informal Worship Service
  • Sunday Morning Worship
  • Sanctuary Service
  • Fellowship Center Service
  • Praise Worship Service
  • Church Service
  • Sunday Adult Coffee Conversations
  • Church School
  • Sunday School
  • Traditional Sunday School
  • Mass
  • Holy Day
  • Liturgy

I’m sure I’m missing something, but its no wonder the world is so confused about the church, we don’t even know what to call our meetings.

What is the difference between “informal” and “contemporary” or “Sunday School”, “Church School”, “Traditional Sunday School” and “Sunday Adult Coffee Conversations”?

How many people actually “serve” at the “service” times?  How much time is spent on the worshiping in the meeting called “Worship Service” versus the time preaching?  Do only “Praise Worship Services” have praise and worship?

Wouldn’t a more accurate title be for many of out gatherings be, “Sit and listen while I talk and sing to you”.

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t it seem like we are doing a lot of “people pleasing”?  I mean, we try to fashion the look and feel of our gatherings to pack seats with people so particular about the church they “attend” that we feel we need to draw a distinction between “contemporary” and “informal”.

Paul rebuked the church in Corinth because they did more harm than good when they came together (1 Corinthians 11:17).  They were missing the whole point and I think that point is still being missed today in many of our gatherings.

  • There were divisions among them… We do that with through our different “formats (vs 18)
  • People thought their way got God’s approval more than another’s… We think our format is best (vs 19)
  • They were being selfish and considering their own needs above the needs of the other people there… how many people serve in a service vs. those that receive? I’ve even seen saved seats. (vs 20,21)
  • Do we all use our gifts in our “service” times?   The stage provides a dividing line between the servers and the served. (Chapter 12)
  • Do we all come with a heart of ministry ready to share with and minister to one another (14:26)
  • Actually, as you go through 1 Corinthians, about the only thing we do well is keeping our services in order.

I don’t completely mean to sound like a fuddy-duddy, but I do hope we begin rethinking the way we “do” church and begin “being” the church.

That’s all.

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