I was at church yesterday. I've been attending this church on and off for about nine years. It's a large non-denominational multicultural congregation. There were three campuses, five church services and if you still couldn't make it, the Sunday services streamed live on the internet. I went to new member class, joined what they called "life groups" and started doing some mentoring of the youth. My devotion to this church has waxed and waned as the head pastor's teeth got more white, hair got more shellacked and suits got more Italian. But Sunday was really the last straw for me.
Of course it was packed up, I expected that on Easter. And of course, there was a lot of "extracurricular" activity with singing and praise dancing and a children's program. Special offering, regular offering, outreach offering. Feeling impatient at one point, I glanced down at my watch. Over 45 minutes had passed and not a single word about Jesus rising? On Easter Sunday? If this was a news cast, isn't that the lead story?
It's enough that society has turned Easter into a bunny-hopping, chocolate eating, egg-hunting shoportunity?? I didn't expect that commercialization in my church.
It's not that I wanted to hear the same old, same old "He is Risen, get right or you won't be" sermon that many a pastor trots out for the occasion. But can we get some reference to King Jesus in the first hour of service? I can tell you where are the outreach programs are going to be this week and what we need to raise another $10 million for but you can't tell me anything about Jesus? When he finally got to preaching, it came across as very sterilized, commercial and stale. I went home and fired up the podcast of my former pastor in the Bay Area to get some kind of spiritual substance in.
I think sometimes when a church becomes very successful the focus becomes less about the kingdom of heaven and more about the kingdom of the church. Le Sigh. And now I have to find a new church home. As anyone who has ever gone hunting for one will attest, it's more than a notion. I think I'd like to go back to midsize for a little while. Not so small that they won't start service until you get there. But not so large that you can go three Sundays in a row and never see the same people twice.
BougieLand, if you are a churchgoer - how did you find your church home? Is it too much to ask for a little Jesus on Easter Sunday? Thoughts, comments, insights?