Thinking Out Loud

April 12, 2011

Great Song for Palm Sunday

It’s the Tuesday before Palm Sunday, and with worship leaders scrambling for musical ideas, I thought I’d kill two birds with one blog: Offer a suggestion and at the same time, introduce more of you to one of Canada’s finest exports, Steve Bell. (No relation to Rob unless it helps him sell more albums.)

March 28, 2010

Sneaking Into The Movie Without Paying

Fortunately, only a handful of this blog’s readers are people I know locally, and of those, only a very small percentage would know my whereabouts this morning.   So with that in mind…

Dear Pastor;

It was good to visit your church again this morning.   Palm Sunday is always a special day in the church calendar, and you really nailed it with that sermon.

But I gotta be totally honest, the service — for me at least — got off to a rather pathetic start.

I thought the idea of opening the service with the Worship House Media film clip of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry was a great way to focus our thoughts.   Then I noticed the bottom corner of the screen:  FOR PREVIEW ONLY.   You hadn’t downloaded the video, which implies you hadn’t purchased the rights to use it at all.

What kind of example was that setting?  Especially for your internet savvy youth who would figure out exactly what was going on?   I mean they call them copyright laws for a reason, and if you’re breaking a law you’re committing a crime, right?

What kind of pastor commits a crime on a Sunday morning in full view of the 150 people in the congregation?   Come to think of it, I didn’t see any copyright notices on any of the choruses we sang this morning either.   Is this just a general contempt for copyright laws specifically, or all law in general?

Or was it the fact Worship House Media wanted $20 for a 1:52 clip?   I’ll admit that twenty bucks for a less-than-two-minute video does seem a bit steep.  I’d be shopping elsewhere.   But it’s their call.   Or you could just not use it.

I keep thinking that the Israelites were supposed to offer an unblemished lamb in sacrifice, and that this element of worship — streaming online off the preview site — was somewhat tainted; somewhat blemished.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think God can receive that particular act of worship.

March 23, 2010

One Sentence Every Palm Sunday Service Should Contain

Filed under: Church, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 11:59 am

I don’t care where you land on the seeker-sensitive versus traditional church continuum.   There’s one message you want to be sure to deliver on Palm Sunday, in addition of course, to what is actually sung and preached on that day:

“Our Easter Sunday service was designed so that you can confidently invite your unsaved neighbors, relatives, coworkers or fellow-students.”

Why?   Hopefully it’s obvious that Easter services should encapsulate all that is central about the Christian faith and be presented in a way that visitors — who do show up on that date after all — will feel comfortable and will understand what is being said and sung.  The congregation needs to know that a week ahead, so that they can invite people with assurance that visitors have been taken into consideration.

Why?  Because of this note I received today; “To be truthful I am leery of even bringing some non-Christians I love  to church… I think they’d be wondering why I attend.”

May that never be said of what is done on this most central, most important Sunday of the year.

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