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McWorship : Drive-Thru Church Ideology


I remember vividly years ago having a discussion with an associate pastor the day I changed the order of worship. The amount of songs were the same, but the manner in which the songs, opening prayer, announcements, baptisms, etc were changed. It was my job to arrange the Worship Service – so I was within my mellon…and, after four nights of praying about it – I really felt that my new layout was more condusive to worship. My Associate Pastor…didn’t agree.

What was the issue? Being dead set and stubborn in old ways? Not so much – the main issue came out in his words: “Jason, we have to be out of here by 11:30 and that is of the utmost importance. We can’t change the order and get us off time.” Wow! I took the time to explain that the songs and my order would run the same time as our normal service, with no difference in the time needed for the pastor to preach. The scary part was that the associate pastor felt that this was of the utmost importance.

Worship…true worship…is of the utmost importance. We live in such a society of drive-thru’s and technology designed to speed every life process up – that we tend to expect the same type of drive-thru mentality of “first window, pay…second window, pick up food…” at our churches. We sing songs in a habit rather than a true state of worship – we refuse to learn new songs because we’re afraid of the one person out there who “doesn’t like that new stuff” and “just wants the hymns” and we get locked in routine. Routines…and worship can become a bad match.

I’m reading the book of Malachi right now. God gives the priests and folks of Isreal an earful thru the prophet Malachi in the book for being half-hearted in their worship. As a matter of fact, there are some pretty strong words being poured out from our God.

It makes you question every aspect of what you are doing in worship. Is it true? Is it what God wants? Is it for a clock, for a few people…or for God?

God gives a promise in Malachi 3:10:

“put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”

Don’t get caught up in McWorship. Get caught up in God.

(Note for the skeptics:  Timing IS important…very important.  There is great wisdom in needing to keep a service on time – especially if you have multiple services.  If not, you may have some very angry nursery volunteers, chaos in the parking lot, and usher/greeter nightmares.  The purpose of this article is to slaughter sacred cows of “we must do the services in this manner and no other way.”)

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