Can You Spare a Minute?

    Posted in Churches, Thoughts and Beliefs    |    2 Comments

My family and I were driving down to San Antonio, TX last weekend when I saw a banner on a church building near Waco, TX that quickly got my attention. The banner read: “30 Minute Worship.” I went to the website listed on the banner (which I won’t display here as I do not wish to dignify them with a link) which confirmed my outrage. They proudly state:

This innovative service is for anybody who is tired of the way traditional church has been done, has limited time, or has to work Sundays. The high energy, focused package will creatively engage you to personally connect with God.

The site goes to explain that 8-10 minutes will be spent in worship, 12-15 minutes of lesson time, and 5 minutes of response.

Before I begin, please hear me say that I do believe this COULD help those who work on Sundays.  But for the statement, “tired of the way traditional church has been done,” I am outraged.

WHAT???????

You mean to tell me that you think anyone can have a personally engaging worship time in 30 minutes?  Have we lost all ability to spend actual time with God?  Here I was thinking how crazy it is when people complain about worship going a few minutes longer than an hour.  Are we so busy that we give God the “leftovers” of our time?  It is as if we are approaching God saying, “Listen, I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I’m pretty busy down here so I don’t have much time to worship you.  How about I squeeze you in on Sunday mornings…will 30 minutes do the trick?  Will I have worshipped you enough in 30 minutes to last for the week?  Cause, God, you don’t know how busy I am.”

The Hebrews in the Old Testament would have known the answer to these questions.  They were commanded to bring the “first-fruits” of their labor as an offering to God.  I contend that God deserves the “first-fruits” or ‘first and best cut” of my money, my work, and my TIME.  Our weekly worship time should not be a time to squeeze God into our week, but rather a time to relish in the presence of God in the gathering of his people to worship.  God deserves our very best, and let’s also acknowledge please that worship is not about us.

Sure, worship uplifts us and draws us closer to God, but God is the object of our worship.  Our worship is for Him and to Him, and I refuse to short-change God by limiting my time or my spirit in worship.

30 Minute Worship, eh?  I’m sure glad that God doesn’t have anything on His schedule that prevents Him from hearing us when we cry out.  I’m glad Jesus didn’t have a prior commitment that would have prevented him dying for my sins.  God deserves the best we can give…and I commit to not allowing this world and its busy nature to ruin what I can give to my God.

(I was going to apologize for the rant…but some things in life deserve it!)

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Chet McDoniel says:

I totally agree that if it can be used to get people in the door, that’s great. However, I’m concerned that those who are in the church and should be giving first-fruits would use this and other trends to circumvent what they should be giving God.

I love innovative ideas, and love getting people through the doors…but I want them to form a relationship with God, and do not believe that can happen in 30 mins a week…IF that’s all they are getting. However, if people are coming to know Christ and transitioning to a fuller life of praise and worship as opposed to using the service as a “way out” of what they should be doing, then that’s great!

Julia says:

I came upon this post by a COMPLETELY random search on google, and oddly enough this church is my home church that we had to leave to move to San Antonio.

Let me clearly state that everything you said, i couldnt agree with more. However… there are many other reasons for 30 Minute Service. One of which was mentioned, shiftwork. We have lots of that, and If you were FROM Waco, you would understand the huge spirit of religion that engulfs the small town, and that many families attend churches that their grandparents attended because its the right thing to do (and some still do). However, the churches are spiritually dead and peoples lives haven’t been transformed in years. So. This 30 Minute Worship that you find offensive, enable some of these families the opportunity to connect with the Holy Spirit, short as it is, without offending their older family members. I occasionally attended the 30 Minute Worship service when i was serving during our regular church time and i can tell you from personal experience, I was just as blessed being there as i would have been in our usual hour and a half (or more…) service.

True, some people do try to put God in a box to fit into their world. I wont argue with that. But, i think God appreciates our worship regardless of our selfish time restraints. I feel blessed that this church is willing to open the doors and preach/teach a service that maybe a non-believer would attend, because its short and sweet. And, they get to meet Jesus.

I personally know people that have started at the 30 Minute Service, met Jesus, their lives transformed and they progressed to the full-fledged, praising God, bible studying Christian that the Lord intends for us to be. The 30 Minute Worship service is an easy transition from a life with NO church, to a life in church. I appreciate the opportunity to share my Pastors vision and pray that you would sieze every opportunity to respect Gods called teachers.

It’s not for the people that are engaged in church, it’s mainly to reach those people that AREN’T.

I felt compelled to comment, because my life was changed due to the fact that my parents met Jesus at this church and our lives and those around us get to fellowship with Jesus because he lives in us.