Friday, June 15, 2007

Put down the guitar, slowly back away, and nobody will get hurt . . .

So there are a bunch of people around Seattle buzzing about the cover story in yesterday's issue of The Stranger. For those of you outside the area, The Stranger is the local alternative newspaper. Check that . . . The Seattle Weekly is the local alternative newspaper, and The Stranger is the alternative to the local alternative newspaper. Anyway, the article is basically 30 staff writers getting sent out to 30 houses of worship on the same weekend, and writing witty, snarky reviews. Some of them are hugely hilarious, some of them are a bit unnecessarily mean spirited, some of them are a waste of time. Personally, it seemed to me that some of them tried too hard to be funny.

Anyway, something I noticed on balance from these pseudo-reviews was the number of digs the writers took at church music. All the churches with a non-hymn format are described as having bad indi-soft-rock cover bands. In one case, the lyrics of the songs are called into question for sounding a heckuva lot like pillow talk (very very funny). With the whole seeker movement a long time ago, church music shifted in the direction of "contemporary" in order to be more welcoming to the unfamiliar nonbeliever. In many cases, churches produced what they thought were pretty solid musical packages. In a few cases, even I thought the music was fairly decent. I've lost count of the number of church ads I've seen that actually use their hip music as a selling point for the church. Perhaps it's time to stop . . . people aren't that impressed. Even with the best musicians, and the purest hearts, it's just not that great. Sadly, most churches that make an attempt DON'T HAVE the best musicians, even if they have pure hearts . . . and then it's even worse.

I hope we've impressed ourselves with our cool music (of course, it would be better if we've honored God with our worshipful attitudes). At least that way someone enjoyed it.

Labels: , ,

posted by Steve at 7:45 AM
link |

4 Comments:

Blogger joelnimmo commented at 8:23 AM~  

Wow, what an article...and written by the exact people "we" think we're appealing to.

I pray that the message will be heard. But, I'm picturing the conversation in a few staff meetings, and I'm not optimistic...

He who has ears to hear...

Anonymous Morgan Owen commented at 3:13 PM~  

Read the reviews. Quite cutting. While I think its interesting to see the responses from those we are trying to win over, I heard loud and clear 1 Corinthians 1:18 from most of the reviews: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." I guess things haven't changed in 2000 years. The foolish only have a louder voice today.

Blogger Julie VW commented at 4:58 AM~  

These writers make some great points and I can agree with a lot of the stuff they say. The thing that stood out for me is also a person pet peeve. There is a big disconnect between what church-people think is "welcoming" vs. the visitors desires to be anonymous.

I don't think anyone wants to stand up and introduce themself to a group of strangers. Nobody wants to give out their contact information and wearing a "special" nametag is no thrill either.

Anonymous Morgan Owen commented at 2:23 PM~  

Julie,

Great point! Its difficult to know exactly what to do about making people feel welcome. It really is a tightrope walk. You have to be cautious to not make them feel vulnerable. And yet you need to make them feel as if their presence matters. Actually, it is also a cultural thing. One way may work in the South, but would definitely be a bad idea in the Northwest.
I think all in all, you have to take into consideration the mindset of those who reported. If we are going to worship, then we should have the perspective of what we are doing and why we are doing it. Clearly, those who reported did not attend with this in mind. It was almost much like a review of a play, movie, latest CD, or restaurant. Definitely not a reverent attitude.

Want to Post a Comment?

back to main page



spirit farmer data

I'm Steve Lewis. This used to be my blogging home. My online home is now at SpiritFarmer.com. When this blog was my active online home, I lived in Seattle. Now I live in London, UK. I follow Jesus (poorly most of the time), worship simply, read a lot, watch culture, go to school, listen to music, write, enjoy art, and drink a lot of coffee.
e-mail me: spiritfarmer@gmail.com
xml



seattle spots

victrola coffee
zoka coffee
university of washington
church of the apostles
quest church
sanctuary church
shoreline vineyard


sites i visit

off the map
theooze
next-wave
metacritic
nt wright



a few of the blogs in the feedreader

tallskinnykiwi
jason evans
joe boyd
kevin rains
alan creech
chris marshall
bill bean
eugene cho
jordon cooper
dwight friesen
john chandler
amy palmer
ryan bolger
rudy carrasco
ryan sharp
sings in the sunshine
rick bennett
scot mcknight
karen ward
alan hirsch
dan kimball
petey crowder



i'm reading it

colossians remixed
africa unchained



i finished reading it - 2007

generation me
jesus and the restoration of israel
god's continent
glocalization
globalizing theology
gustavo gutierrez: essential writings
jesus and the eyewitnesses
garlands of grace
twenty poems to nourish your soul
the black swan
dancing in the streets
made to stick
signs in contemporary culture
hit the bullseye
revolution
the politics of jesus
readings in christian ethics
toward old testament ethics
the kite runner
principles of conduct
velvet elvis
the irresistable revolution
they like jesus, but not the church
the great omission
ishmael
charisma: the gift of grace, and how it has been taken from us
the starfish and the spider
a perfect mess
the world cafe
the new faces of christianity
leaving church
journeying in faith
the creed
creators
transforming mission
metaphors we live by
foolishness to the greeks
personal knowledge



states i've spent time: 2007

washington
texas
british columbia
oregon
california
georgia
oh yeah, denmark, too



i wrote it

managing conflict in the 'new world'
music review: over the rhine
film review: bonhoeffer
music review: fighting jacks
film review: the passion of the christ
how reality tv changes lives
the best tv article you've ever read
corks & caps: a wine lover's story of change
america's idols
random, disorganized thoughts about life after the katrina disaster
missional . . . plain and simple
on becoming post-gnostic



i blogged it

04/01/2002 - 05/01/2002
05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002
06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002
07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002
08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002
09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002
10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002
11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002
12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003
03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003
04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003
05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008


misc

Google
flickr
wikipedia



Tweaked from a design by mela