Not much stimulated by my first foray, I went out to another church this evening. I will call it Tioga Baptist, so I can distinguish it from other Baptist churches I am likely to run into.
Tioga Baptist has a traditional service in the morning and a contemporary service in the evening. I will admit to feeling much more responsive toward the contemporary songs than the Episcopalian liturgy, but the basic operation of the service was the same: the officate stood in front of us and encouraged us to feel better based his enthused amplifications of a couple of verses.
I did like his main point better than what I encountered earlier: he read Pslam 88 (yes, the whole thing!) and noted how this, too, was worship. Good point. Better if you lived it. Trust me, not one song sung that night was less than gushing. About half were hard to distinguish from what any love-striken adolescent might write to the object of his or her affections. Of course, since that is contemporary Christian music, I knew almost all of the songs.
From that one Psalm the message meandered on through a few more verses with much exclaiming and wonderment and rhetorical questions (see above). There was the usual call for strangers, and anyone else who wants to be the center of attention, to come up front. Then, when the service was over and everyone rushed for the doors, the pastor asked me the usual questions and gave me the introduction to the church: We’re a small church but we’re growing. This is the service for the cool young people, the morning is the boring one for old people. I said I didn’t care if the service was traditional or contemporary, I was looking for a Bible study. So he told me that they have a Bible study earlier on Sunday morning, attended mostly by young people, and that the early service is usually expository rather than topical.
It’s assumed that I am looking for a large crowd of young people. Really I am looking for two or three people who want to learn the way of the Lord as fellows.