Thursday, January 11, 2007

What needs to be in a church?

The other day I was looking at our church, decorated with poinsettias, and I was enjoying the ambiance. But it also made me wonder what is needed inside a church to make the experience right. So many old style churches are decorated with banners and stained glass windows, and so much more. But is that really needed for worship? So might answer "yes," others "no."
Then on the other side, you have many churches that meet in a school, or a movie theatre, or even in homes. These churches don't have any special decorations. In fact, most often, they can't use decorations. So what is it about the decorations that help us to worship?
When you walk into a church, how do you know that you are in a place of worship? Is it the furniture, the decorations, or maybe the feel? Are there some things that direct your attention more to God, and some that take it away? Can the decorations be so ornate, that they distract you from the worship at hand?
Let's take a step back for a moment, and change the setting to our home. When we live in a home, we decorate it. Maybe we put pictures on the walls, couches and chairs in the rooms. When we go into a bedroom, we know it is a bedroom because there is a bed in the room. So if we feel the need to decorate our homes, why do we disagree over whether or not the church needs to have decorations?
As I write this, you may not even have realized that you have a preferance one way or the other. So I encourage you to think about this issue. What makes a church a place of worship, and is it wrong at all to worship in a gymnasium or a movie theatre?
To share some of my feelings, I have to say that I can enjoy stained glass windows and banners, but at the same time, I can feel close to God and be able to worship without them. My personal opinion is that being together with other believers is often what helps me the most to worship.
SO, I would love to hear what you think and feel about this topic. Please write me and share your thoughts, and perhaps others will respond to me and you as well. (