Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Report on Our New Family Service: The Drawbacks

Yesterday I wrote a blog post that talked about the benefits of our new family service at our church.  But in the interest of creating an honest account, of being a good archivist and historian, let me not paint too rosy a picture.  Let me talk about some of the drawbacks.

--I worry that the family service siphons too many children away from the more traditional services in church.  I worry that children will not likely be growing up to find churches that offer the kind of service we offer.  Are we creating a generation of children who will leave church as adults because they can't find our kind of Lutheran worship service?

--I also think it's good for everyone else in church to worship with children.  I don't want families to feel quarantined.

--Every church with more than one service wrestles with the question of how to build community across the church.  By choosing one service, I'm not seeing my church friends who go to the other services.

--At some point, my spouse will return to singing in the choir at the later service.  Will he still be part of the family service?  Will I stay for the late service?  Will we go in 2 cars?

--I miss liturgy.  One disadvantage to knowing so much about the ELW (our cranberry colored hymnal that was published in 2006) is that I know about all the worship resources that we're not using.  Our new service has a sort of liturgy, but so far, it's not satisfying my liturgy cravings.  But our regular later service also does not satisfy that longing, and the early service is still using the green book that the cranberry book was designed to replace.  Sigh.

--I miss hymns.  Of course, in regular services, I miss hymns.  We have 3 hymns at the most, along with the music we sing during Communion which doesn't change much.  So if I'm honest, there will always be hymns that I'm missing.

--If I wasn't writing a weekly Gospel meditation, I'd miss the lectionary.  I like the cycles, the seasons of the church, the ways that they're sometimes in sync with the larger culture, the way they play against it.

--Here's my larger concern:  we're not a huge church.  We're not really a medium size church.  We're a larger small church.  Some weeks, we have trouble finding enough worship helpers for one service.  What will happen when/if we add our early, very traditional service back to the mix? 

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