If you had your way, which church traditions would you keep/chuck/import?
I’m tired of writing! Your turn!
I’m curious what you love about your church tradition? What would you absolutely want to keep in your church? What would you not want your children to miss out on?
I’m also curious about what you dislike about your church tradition? What do you just put up with? What would you like to see gone?
I’m also curious what you would like to import from other traditions? Perhaps from the Pentecostals? Or the Catholics?
1) I LOVE the centrality of Scriptures/the Bible-based sermons/like the upbeat songs/like the basic format of the evangelical church/the fellowship
2) I DISLIKE the extemporaneous nature of many services (I am sometimes the culprit!)/lack of reverence & tradition especially around communion & baptism/shallow songs/low commitment level/lack of interest in doctrine
3) If I had my way (and if it wouldn’t cause so many waves as to be divisive/harmful) I would enjoy a service which IMPORTED some aspects of liturgical church services such as: the use of a lectionary (a list of bible passages for communal reading, and the scheduling of sermons)/nice infrastructure and art in the church (sorry Zwingli*)/the public reading of large portions of Scripture/the public reading of written prayers & creeds. I would also like to pull our churches back to their intellectually-engaged roots in the reformation, calling people back past the anti-intellectualism of the past century to the deep truths which our Reformers & Puritan fathers knew and taught.
From time to time, as I have had occasion as preacher or worship leader I have integrated some of these things, and people have much enjoyed them.
Now, I’m not saying I want to make all these changes tomorrow. One needs to be sensitive to the real needs and desires of people. But if I had my way, I’d sprinkle some of these goodies in from time to time, or find a sensitive way to integrate some of these great historic practices back into our modern churches.
So that was my five cents.** Now it’s your turn. What would you keep, chuck or import from your church traditions?
*Ulrich Zwingli was the “third man of the Reformation.” He was largely eclipsed by Luther and Calvin, who wrote more important works than he did. However, his influence is felt today since it was he who is largely responsible for “white-washing” (quite literally) the insides of churches, and creating the stripped-down, art-free, super-utilitarian structures that we are used to today in Evangelicalism.
** Due to the loss of the Canadian penny, I am no longer able to give my two cents. That’s okay because my “two cents” usually turned out to be more like a nickel anyways…