By Stan Friedman
CHICAGO, IL (May 30, 2014) — Many Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos with one another that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement of any views expressed.
Can you tell which one is the Christian version?
A mother does a good job of articulating how she wrestles with whether her children should participate in sports that occur at the same time as church. While she watched her son play soccer one Sunday, she says, “I was frustrated because I could count 20 families from our church who were also at sports games that morning.”
The choices aren’t easy for parents today. This writer struggles because she knows there are choices to be made, each with its own drawbacks. Anyone tempted to castigate families who let their children play Sunday morning sports should also consider their own Sunday activities. Still, it can be a cop-out when parents say they don’t have a choice, that they have to let their kids play ball. The article also is a good starting point for considering the value we place on sports.
From the article: “Still, with the social world filtered through screens and fiber optics, it can be comforting to fantasize that friends are keeping tabs on us. That is, until that particularly good photo or well-crafted tweet or link shared to catch the interest of a certain interesting person just doesn’t get noticed—not a like, not a comment, not the tiniest tick upwards in our Klout Scores. All of our unanswered, paranoid wonderings—Do they see me? Are they watching? What must they think of me now?—conspire to expose us in our shameful unimportance, driving home first the realization that no one is watching and none of them care, and then the embarrassment of having assumed that they were and they did.”
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Let’s see: photographers, vendors, caterers, the band, etc. Is anyone surprised that the pastor isn’t mentioned? Of course, he or she only spends hours preparing for and doing the premarital counseling, helps pull together the order of service, labors numerous hours on the message, and is at the church long before, during, and after the ceremony. Aren’t they supposed to do that for free—or at least for less than the cost of the personalized napkins?
“Why They Don’t Sing” and the writer’s follow-up piece, “Confessions of a Worship Wars Mercenary,” have been getting a lot of attention, including two responses by Covenant worship leaders Chris Logan (“Vision”) and Gail Song Bantum (“A Culture of Complaining”).
I generally find the “worship wars” discussions to be pretty dull. After all, they’ve been around a couple millennia longer than the advent of “contemporary” worship. The punch/counter-punch are always the same. There’s some rehashed points here, but the self-critique is interesting.
Still, the criticisms always seem to be directed at churches with contemporary worship, especially megachurches. (Jeesh, can’t these churches ever do anything right?) Don’t for a minute think plenty of organists and pianists haven’t put on “performances” while playing hymns and choral numbers. Anyone ever applaud after the offertory?
This is a much-needed ministry. Some Covenant churches do something similar for at least a couple hours one or two nights a month. Many of our camps also have weeks designated for families who have a member with disabilities. To learn more about Covenant resources for churches wanting to minister to people with disabilities, click here.