Today’s Challenges: The church and karaoke


We were visiting with some good friends this past week after a long separation. We sat up for hours catching up on every imaginable topic. Of course we discussed our churches and some of the many happenings there.

They shared a recent incident that had happened when a non-Christian friend visited their congregation. Later in the day he was trying to tell someone about his “Church Experience.” He described how friendly everyone was with him and how much he loved that. Then he told them about the preaching and how he enjoyed the message and the presentation by the preacher who was not stuffy at all. He then tried to describe the singing, during which the words to the songs were projected on a screen above the pulpit. In describing this he said excitedly, “And they sing Karaoke”!

I found the description humorous to say the least, but it made me wonder about what folks think when they visit our church. Years ago I heard a man discuss the “secret language” used in churches. We use words like, “deacon” and “elder” or even “minister” and just assume folks understand what we are talking about. We write abbreviations such as “Mt,” “Mk,” “Lk” and “Jn” and assume that people will know that stands for the bible books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We may even sing a capella and assume that folks know that means we don’t use musical instruments in our worship.

So, stop and think about what you are doing in your worship sometime. Maybe even make sure our church visitors have a little understanding about what is happening. Not everyone was “raised going to church,” and just don’t have the same background as you might. They may be like the little girl who innocently said of communion, “I love going to church, they serve juice and crackers every week, just like my preschool”.

We may not actually “sing Karaoke,” the way the world perceives it, but hopefully we are those described by Jesus in John 4:23 where he says, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” Spirit and Truth is a must, Karaoke… not so much!

By Russ Lawson

Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is the Director of World Christian Literature Outreach and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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