I just read a nice blog from a guy I met who is a missionary in Moldova (raatz.blogs.com). I think he and his family have been over there for 5 years or so. It's a rugged place to serve. My very brief experience with the "church" over there is that it is pretty legalistic and boring. Definitely not "modern" in a good sense. Yet every week he goes to "church" while understanding at the same time that he and his fellow believers are the church. As I think ahead to going to Ukraine I know I will experience much of what he wrote about.
Maybe living in Arley, Alabama is part of God's plan to prepare me for living over there. I've been attending one the churches here in town. I really like the staff. The "services" are about as traditional as you can get though. If it has a "leaning" stylistically, then it leans toward "Southern Gospel". All the "special music" has a "twang" if you know what I mean.
For those of you that know me, you know my head starts pulsing like it's going to explode- sort of like the Martians in the movie Mars Attacks, when they hear Country Music.
Give me a darkened room with music that's so loud that I can sing loud without any thought (or fear) that anyone near me can hear me! I don't listen to piano's or organs in any other context in life- not at home, not in my car- why would I want to hear that on Sunday morning? And it's not the hymns- I love most of them.
Nearly every Sunday morning after church here in Arley, I want to call or text Michael B at Bayou View and give him a digital hug and slap on the back. I attended Bayou View in Gulfport last weekend and the worship was glorious. Mostly hymns...but that Acoustic Guitar, slighty updated arrangement, the Djembe and Bass along with the Piano minus the twang... well, I liked it alot. I realize it's not all about me. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm just saying that if I have a choice, then that's what I want. If I were planting a church I would lean towards assuming there are other people like me and that's the direction I would go. I'm just saying...there's a difference between a timeless message and a dated method.
Yet in the end- "going" to church is more about being with God's people; being connected with fellow believers- regardless of the worship style or the trappings. So that's why I get up and go. I need to be connected with other believers. I can listen to Crowder in my Jeep anytime I guess. And maybe my head won't explode from over-exposure to Southern Gospel.