While perusing Facebook yesterday I noticed a little ad on the right for a church in Denver. I’ve seen ads for churches pop up here a couple other times and I like seeing what other churches are doing, so I decided to click it. On this particular occasion I think it would have been better if I hadn’t. It got me ticked for a couple hours, and now this morning I saw it again and so I’m concerned my day is doomed to frustration. Why such a strong reaction?
First of all, from reading about the pastors on the website, you would think they are the Saviors of the world. There was an entire page of the website devoted to how wonderful they are, how many people they led in worship at their previous church, how many people want them to come speak–yet they are willing to grace our city with their presence. I don’t think traveling motivational speakers pimp themselves as much as these people.
What made this even more frustrating was that there was hardly a mention of the real Savior anywhere on their site. I found one reference to Jesus buried deep in their doctrinal statement saying that Jesus was an example of how to be a servant. This one passing reference in comparison with the verbosity given to the pastors was too much for me to handle.
Additionally, they went on and on about how great their worship will be (they haven’t actually started meeting yet) without even a mention of who they’re worshiping. I know with a church you could say that is assumed, and to some extent it’s true, but the impression I got from the site was that we worship because it’s fun and an awesome experience. Now, singing with others to God may be a great experience, but that’s not the reason for worship. The reason to worship is to glorify and praise the Triune God and experience flows from that because he is a relational God. On this site every picture was of great stage lighting, hip young people, and shadowed hands raised while singing.
I know, I’m being judgmental. I don’t know the pastors personally. I’ve never been to anything at this church. Yet the problem for me remains. Any church that puts itself out there reflects on the Church as a whole and on Jesus. No church will ever be perfect. I just don’t think our culture needs another church telling them Jesus cares most about looking cool and celebrity pastors. He never was the first and ran from the second.