Thursday, August 13, 2009

Corporate Worship

Last night, I was at a radically different form of corporate worship. The congregation was overwhelmingly male, although there were family-friendly elements, and the hymns and canticles were sung loudly. There was one prayer, at the start, and elements of ceremony to rival any rubrics and liturgy. There was almost a mega-church sized congregation of approximately 13,000 worshippers. And right in the centre of the worship gathering, the pantheon of gods were very present, receiving and welcoming their adoration.

By now you've probably worked out I'm talking about being at Windsor Park for the Northern Ireland v Israel game which was tied 1-1. Yet without much exaggeration, it's clear to see that football matches are a form of worship. The crowds flock to see their heroes, spending huge amounts of money, not just on the match ticket, but also on the replica kit (or at least a shirt), scarf, face paint, flags and (for some) the drink.

Why is it that blokes will join in singing loudly at a football match, but hardly open their mouths in church? Why are blokes becoming an endangered species in our churches? It's a worrying development, not least because some godly, faithful Christian women are drawn to non-Christian men rather than holding out for a believer.

How can we create the community in which men are more comfortable in church? Or are we more happy to be more passionate about eleven men kicking a bit of leather around than about the good news of King Jesus?

Wanted: A Few Good Men to reach our generation of young men who are adrift in a world of sex, booze, porn, and gambling and to turn their lives around by proclaiming Jesus. Who is up to this mission field?

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