November 2, 2010

Updated Style Is Not The Same As Redefined

As I was heading out to the bank on Monday a poster at KFC caught my eye. It was about a new church that has just launched here in Halifax. They are called One, and they have set themselves up in Neptune Theater. Their tag line was that they are church re-defined, and for all their readers benefit they had a definition of re-defined on the poster.

Now I was curious about this new church so I followed the instructions on the posters and went to their website. I was disappointed that One Church's website was just their poster but on-line.

Clearly I know as close to nothing about this church as I can. All I know is that they are meeting once a month at Neptune Theater, at 11am, Sunday morning. Even knowing this little bit makes me question how much re-defining and non-traditional One is. Given all the information here is the traditional vs non-traditional breakdown.

Traditional- Meeting on Sunday, at 11, in a Theater (Meeting in a theater may be newish, but it is hardly ground breaking.)


I don't want to knock whatever One is planning on doing, like I said before I really don't know anything about them. But I suspect (and even hope) that they don't really mean they are redefining church.

For me church means a gathered body of believers under the Lordship of Christ that is directed to be the very arms and legs of Christ in the world, spreading the gospel and ministering to a hurting and fallen world. Any major redefining of this would make me very very nervous.

I suspect One is not going to redefine this in any major way. If they are like any of the other new churches that have popped up in the last 5-10 years or so they will have a renewed zeal for both understanding scripture and doing acts of justice.

Instead I am willing to guess that by redefine they mean, we will look different then your grandmothers church. But let me say that even this can be a bit of a stretch for me. And here is why, every so call revisioned church I am aware of still does everything a traditional church does. Someone will pray, someone will do some music, someone will talk for a while, someone will take your money.

Just because you have a full band that rocks and we have a worship team that is good, or just because your pastor wears a hoodie and sneakers and I wear a suit jacket and dress shoes isn't really doing church differently than anyone's grandmother's church.

Now I don't want to give the impression that I am against trying to make churches stylistically appealing to a younger generation. If anything I am for it! I just think we need to remember an updated style is not the same as church redefined.

Welcome to the neighbourhood One from your classically defined neighbour.