Parishioners at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Waunakee listen to the Sunday morning worship service while drinking coffee and relaxing on couches and plush chairs. The pews and communion rail were taken out in August, part of a new approach intended to appeal to the “unchurched” in the community.
Many churches are taking a less-formal approach to some of their worship services:
• Blackhawk Church, 9620 Brader Way, Verona, just began using chairs, lamps and rugs to convert its gym into a casual Sunday worship space called “The Living Room.” Attendees view a live feed of the sermon from a larger auditorium but otherwise have their own worship service. “It’s more intimate, with unplugged, acoustic music,” said Nancy Lindroth, director of team development.
• Trinity United Methodist Church, 1123 Vilas Ave., Madison, held its first “U2 Eucharist” Oct. 5, with a cover band providing the music of the Irish rock band. Three of U2’s four members are committed Christians, and the band is known for its work in addressing world poverty and health issues. “So much of their music has terrific theology in it,” said the Rev. Amanda Stein. A special offering supported work by the United Nations. The service likely will become an annual event, she said.
• Lake Edge United Church of Christ, 4200 Buckeye Road, Madison, holds a traditional worship service at 9 a.m. on Sundays, then offers a different feel for its 11 a.m. service, which it calls “Worship at the Edge.” A band of professional and volunteer musicians led by Madison songwriter Marques Bovre performs a mix of music, and the sermon is delivered not from the pulpit but in a more conversational style.
• Heartland Community Church, 800 Wilburn Road, Sun Prairie, bills itself as “a different way to do church.” Its Bible-based services are “doctrinally pure but culturally relevant,” with contemporary songs and dramatic sketches, said the Rev. Jon McNary, who typically wears jeans to services. “We’re relaxed in our dress,” he said. “We don’t want anything to be a barrier for people to worship.”
“Once spiritually powerful churches had become “seeker-friendly” congregations, and their main aim seemed to be to make the service as short as possible. Everything seemed packaged.”
Is this squishy “Couch” Christianity the answer?
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 2:30 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
For Battles Won!
Non nobis, non nobis, Domine
Sed nomini tuo da gloriam.
Not to us, not to us, O Lord,
But to your name give glory.