Dear Faithful Followers,
Remember when iPods first came out? The year was 2001. iPods changed the music world forever. Digital music at your fingertips. No longer did you have to take time to create custom CDs or Cassette tapes. Apple changed something that many artists had to adjust to. No longer did you have to buy a whole album/CD, you could just download the song you liked. I don't know how many CDs I bought for just one or two songs. With an iPod, I got the playlist I wanted and if I didn't like a song or didn't care for it anymore, I just deleted it. My music the way I wanted it.
A few weeks ago, there was a story about how a Pastor stopped his sermon to ask a mother with a crying baby to leave. The mother wasn't ashamed of her crying baby and even though they had a nursery with video and audio of the service, she wanted her way. The Pastor wanted it his way. Personally, I think both were in the wrong. I would love to hear a baby start crying in our Church on a Sunday, but also would not want a distraction to keep me from listening to God's Word. There is a fine line in which you, as a parent, want to stay and be a part of worship and when you need to leave with an upset child. What is more distracting? A baby crying or adults talking? Which one have you heard more of at St. Matthew?
Then comes the opinions: I want worship done this way or that way. I want these hymns or songs played. I want to kneel, stand, sit or any combination during the service. We have that same battle where some talk negatively about Contemporary Service or Traditional Service. We want things our way.
WE ARE SINNING
When we put things into our eyes and demand things be done our way or else we take our ball and go home, we are wrong and we are sinning.
That is a BOLD statement. We need to remember why we are at Church. We are here to receive God's Grace, Word, Body and Blood. If you leave a Church because you are mad about worship style or times, that is on you.
We do need to ask, "What does God want?" What does God command us in Worship? We cannot just rip pages out of the Bible we don’t like because they may make us feel uncomfortable, just as we did when we didn’t like a song on our iPod.
We are blessed to be able to offer two styles of worship at St. Matthew. I know it is different from what we may have been doing the last 70 years, and I know that some of us like to wake up later and wish we still had a late Traditional service. Personally, I miss the 8am early service :) I can remember growing up, we would be one of the first ones at early service (usually an hour early) and that was after we already went out for breakfast. Looking at attendance records over the last few years, the Contemporary service has stayed about the same, but the Traditional service has declined. With that said, at the time of this writing, we have had some higher than usual attendance for both Traditional and Contemporary.
As you come to Church, are you coming with a cheerful mindset or looking to complain because something isn’t your way? Attitude is key if we are going to keep moving forward at St. Matthew.
Beginning March 22nd, I will be starting a Discipleship study. It is rightfully named, “Scrappy Church.” We will meet the 4th Sunday of each month from 7-7:45pm for fellowship, praising God and hearing a message.
What is a Discipleship study? You are familiar with Bible studies, where we look at the Bible and dig deep into the words to see what God says. But at this new Scrappy Church Discipleship study, we will dig deep into ourselves and our Church specifically to understand what God is telling us. We will praise God through music and songs. We will have fellowship with each other. If you have a 7th-12th grade student, they can attend the Youth group meeting which is the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month from 6:30-8pm. Perfect timing! We invite everyone to join us on March 22nd at 7pm.
In last months supplement, we read about how it isn’t our money, it is God's money. Just the same, this is not our Church, it is God's church. Are you coming to worship God and receive His gifts or just going through the motions? I challenge everyone to come to Church each Sunday without complaining about anything. See how it changes your attitude and your appreciation for what God has blessed us with.
Serving the Master Teacher,