Thursday, September 07, 2006
Worship Together?
What can I say? Thompson Station Church exemplifies contemporary evangelical thinking. Just read the article from yesterday's "Mix of joe and Jesus geared to Gen X'ers." Here's how the story begins:

On an average Sunday, more than 1,600 worshippers pack the pews for Thompson Station Church's two services.

Which can be a little intimidating to a newcomer, particularly a young person.

So the forward-thinking folks at this rapidly growing church put their heads together and came up with a plan.

What would draw people, both single and married, between the ages of 25 and 35 to a worship service?

How about a cafe that offered premium coffee and bottled water, along with a hip, intimate atmosphere?

Yep, that would do it, they thought.

So, The Venue was born.

I like how Anthony Paul Mator summarizes this church's idea over at the
World blog in "age-segregated church":

Leaders at Thompson Station megachurch in Tennessee worried that their large sanctuary might intimidate young adults. Their solution: build a separate, cafe-style room with a high-definition video screen so gen-Xers can watch the service without having to sit in the presence of their elders. Does this tactic exemplify the Apostle Paul's desire to become all things to all people, or does it unnecessarily divide the church family? Are Boomers and Gen-Xers too different to worship together?

It's not too hard to know my thoughts here. We must end this "we're so different we must cater to our diversity" mindset. Where are we going to wind up with this kind of thinking?


posted at 12:45 PM  
Comments (3)

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cripps said...

Would it be alright if the whole church was in the cafe?

At 2:28 PM, Blogger John said...


It's great to hear from you!

To answer your question, my answer depends on a few other issues:

1) Would the preacher be in the cafe? Or would they still be watching a high-definition screen for the sermon? I do not believe that a move to prerecorded sermons is positive either.

2) Who does the whole church consist of? I am concerned with churches targeting certain age or socioeconomic groups. In other words, I do not see a Gen X church worshipping in a cafe as much different than a Gen X group within a church worshipping in a cafe.

Nevertheless, with these clarifications in mind, I don't have a problem with a church meeting in a cafe. The church is the congregation, not the building in which it meets.

What do you think?

At 3:16 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cripps said...

Well, since it is likely that the fruit of the tree of life was actually a coffee bean, and since we still have access to said fruit (though surely marred by the fall), we should, as redeemed creatures, redeem the usage of said fruit into our true worship of our, and the coffee bean's, creator.
Now, I know what you're thinking - that's not in line with the regulative principle. But as with clothing, seating, and hairstyles, coffee drinking is something that does not directly affect the mode or verity of worship. If anything, it brings one closer to the life that will be.
All joking aside, I don't have a problem with it as long as: 1. the congregation as a whole can be there, 2. the baristas are not tamping or spraying while formal worship is happening, and 3. the pastor does not ever wear an apron.

Have a wonderful day!



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I am a former Mormon who has been saved by Jesus Christ. Now I am a missionary involved with the Africa Center for Apologetics Research (ACFAR). I seek to live in light of Paul's words: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21 ESV)

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