#254 has the church lost pride in celebration?

For a believer to take the step of confirmation in the church is a solemn affair. This warrants celebration on the part of the clergy and congregation.

Yesterday (25th October, 2009) at St Andrews’ Cathedral at 5pm service was dedicated to confirmation of about 52 believers to the church. It was a special time for celebration. Sadly the service was poorly conducted by those involved.

There was need for printed sheets of hymns and songs as part of the service but some worshippers did not have the printed sheets. Without the words of the hymn or song, a worshipper’s mind and heart was disrupted. This spoiled the mood of the service for the worshippers. (Unfortunately this happened every time when there was a special service conducted.)

[Mind you there were many LCD screens installed hanging overhead in the church building but no one considered using that to flash the words of  hymns or songs?]

The choir sang poorly. Instead of helping the congregation to sing the hymns or songs, most of the time they were behind in timing and turned the beautiful hymn into funeral timing!

During the Holy Communion, the choir’s rendition was appalling. Many choir members do not know their music, much less the meaning of the lyrics sang! Where was the commitment or dedication? Many sang with their natural voice. If this was the case, disband the choir. Let the organist or musician lead the singing instead.

If there was need, get a special group of singers to present meaningful and memorable rendition for the occasion.

Yesteryears when fewer members were able to take up learning of musical instruments, this could be excused. Today, choir members pride themselves able to sing when they had not gone for vocal training.

Where is the fear of the Lord? If the clergymen do not care about administration of worship, then who is able to reform? Preachers are found crying foul from the pulpit that members lack in spiritual growth and involvement, how could members improve given this tardy and sloppy way of conducting the worship service week after week and where sermons are reduced to rantings and ramblings and on occasion, it was clear that the sermon was ill-prepared?

Interestingly, many were found criticising the public for poor administration but when it comes to church matters, Christians become sheepish. Why?

Has the church become obsolete? Have the clergymen and leaders and those involved in affairs of the church become complacent and sloppy?

We make our houses beautiful homes to live in but the church…????

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#253 sunday preaching on shattered dream

Last Sunday at St Andrews Cathedral 5pm service, the preacher asked, “What is the opposite of trust?” “I hope you will not answer ‘distrust’.” Was he condescending? Was he treating his congregation like his Sunday School kids?

Guess his answer? “Fear.” He was quite smug about his answer!

It’s a wonder why Christians do not fear God! Fear in this context has negative connotation. Often the word ‘fear’ used with God implies ‘reverence’.  If the opposite of trust is fear then, Christians rightly can question God and disbelieve all that written in the Bible. (I’m sure he will argue and excuse his way out on this.)

The preacher could have used ‘afraid of tomorrow; disquiet; anxiety; and so on…’ 

I went away wondering…what is the role of the pastor? His role is to bury, to marry, to visit the sick and to baptise. Does this mean he hasn’t the time to pray through when he was preparing his sermons?

Yesteryears, a pastor was able to take care of one congregation. Today a pastor has many paid helpers and there are more pastors to the number of congregations at St Andrews Cathedral.

There is the constant complaint that pastors have a lot to do. Does this mean he can be excused for his ill-chosen words? Can he be excused for his wooly sermons? He is called to preach God’s Word — a sermon at Sunday service is a fresh reminder for the congregation to lean on God throughout the week. Can the congregation members recall that he preached throughout the week?

He claimed he had shattered dreams but… The truth is shattered dream is relative in understanding as the intensity of one’s shattered dream differs from another…

Was he able to say he went through the same experiences that Job in the Old Testament went through? He made no direction to Job’s predicament at all.

What was he taught in homiletics during his theological or bible school days?