“As I was trying to figure out what he meant by this, all of the sudden, the lights went out, and the pastor had an imaginary conversation with God. God’s voice came out of the speakers and the pastor, pretending to be Abraham, had a real life imaginary conversation with God.”
(Christopher Gordon – Abounding Grace) Years ago I was challenged by a churchgoer that I have no right to critique another church’s worship unless I have personally attended and witnessed for myself what is happening. I took this challenge and visited the local evangelical church in which thousands from the community were attending. The church adopted the Saddleback model of worship that still is, to this day, the common practice of many churches in the United States.
As I made my way to the worship center, I couldn’t help but to be impressed with what felt like a giant theater. I estimate that a few thousand seats were set up. There were a lot of grey haired baby-boomers. Families in general did not sit together. In fact, I really didn’t see very many families. There was a giant youth center next door where most of the young people gathered while the main service was happening.
I tried to discern a general liturgy or order of worship. This was a challenge. There was a worship team with three ladies, a band, and lead singer. The worship leader read a few verses from a Psalm that I assumed was to be some form of a call to worship. We then spent the first 25 minutes singing praise songs.