Ah yes…it has been a long time since we’ve had a Monday Muse question. As a side note, I have found that seminary makes blogging difficult. It is hard to carve out time for writing on a blog when you are spending most of your days writing for classes. The two things do not have to be mutually exclusive but blogging certainly doesn’t land high on the priority list in the face of Greek translation, grammatical analysis, and doctrinal papers. But like I said, this is a side note.
I have been wrestling with a particular question over the past few weeks. It pertains to the Sunday worship services though it could be applied to any type of similar service. A few years ago, I listened to a podcast by the 9 Marks pastors in which they described a process of evaluation that they apply to their Sunday services on a regular basis. They recall and discuss the good and the bad elements of the service in an effort to improve their time together. At the time, I loved the idea of the elders getting together regularly to evaluate the services. It shows that they care about what happens on Sunday mornings or, more broadly, any time the body of Christ gathers together. However, I have begun to rethink this practice more recently. Though I am certainly not opposed to constructive criticism, I wonder if regular evaluations can lead to a performance based view of worship gatherings. I am sure that it can be done well with care toward that concern. But I wonder, at what point do we become more focused on the delivery/style of the sermon, tempo and energy of the music, and the aesthetics of the meeting space instead of simply being thankful for our ability to gather together as one body to hear the word preached, to lift up one voice in worship, and to partake of the sacraments as one body?
Again, I know that the two things do not have to be mutually exclusive. I do think some type of evaluation is helpful from time to time. But I’m also trying to think about the wisest practices for the body of Christ and its leaders. So…more on that from me later. For now, let’s get the conversation started.
Do you think churches should have regular evaluations of the worship gatherings? Why or why not?