Posts Tagged ‘Place of worship’

I’ve heard folk say many times how disappointed and even how annoyed they’ve been when people leave their church and go to another place of worship. Yes it’s disappointing when people feel a church/place of worship is not the place they want to be, but the way I look at it is, isn’t it better that on leaving one church/place of worship they are going to another church or place of worship than none at all?

Just as the following picture says, our churches and place of worship are not what is important to God, it’s our hearts! While our churches need to be filled with Him, it’s more important our hearts are filled by Him!

filling empty hearts

 

What is a sanctuary?

Here is the dictionary definition of a sanctuary:

  1. a sacred or holy place.
  2. an especially holy place in a temple or church.
  3. the part of a church around the altar; the chancel.
  4. a church or other sacred place where fugitives were formerly entitled to immunity from arrest.

Since we moved into our new hall (Bellshill Salvation Army) at the beginning of April, I’ve heard it described by several people as a sanctuary

Bellshill SA worship hall

Can you see why?

The illuminated cross at the front of our new worship hall grabs your attention as soon as you enter the hall for the first time. Having sat in the congregation, rather than in my seat in the band, recently, I found my attention constantly drawn to the cross.

Some my question why we have no Salvation Army crest at the front of our hall, however, I for one prefer it as it is. We know what the building is, we know it’s a Salvation Army hall. However I think we must be constantly reminded of the cross, and what as Christians it stands for…after all if there hadn’t been a cross, and there wouldn’t have been a Salvation Army, and their wouldn’t have been a Bellshill Salvation Army hall to worship in!

 

You’re probably wondering what the title of the blog post is in relation to…well it’s in relation to where we worship!

bellshill cultural centreAs you may know, I worship at Bellshill Salvation Army, and a couple of months ago we moved out our own hall for about 9 months so refurbishment work could be done on our hall. In this interim period we are holding our Sunday morning worship meeting in the Bellshill Cultural Centre.

When I first heard where we would be holding our services, I thought this would be really strange and wondered if it was possible that our new temporary home could really feel like a place of worship.

Well almost 2 months on, and the Cultural Centre is home! It doesn’t matter that the building we are worshiping in was not built as a place of worship. It doesn’t matter that during the rest of the week other activities take place in the hall we use for worship on a Sunday. What matters is that God is there with us when we worship Him!

Matthew 18:20 (NIV)

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them

Why was I ever surprised that our new “home” wouldn’t feel like a place of worship!

Those of you who live in the UK will just have completed your Census for 2011. Within the census it asks the religion of each individual who lives in the house, and this has been playing on my mind ever since I filled in our census form and my Mum and Dad’s census form.

For a few days, it’s bugged me why I kept thinking about this question, but then it came to me…

  • Of all the people included in the responses to the census forms, I wonder how many of them specified they have a particular religious denomination?
  • And of those who specified they have a religion, how many of them actually regularly attend a place of worship?

I think the reason for this being on my mind are that I suspect many people who never attend a place of worship will have indicated they are of a specific religious denomination, and that bothers me!

Why do people still consider themselves to be of a particular religion but don’t attend a place of worship? How does that equate?

So in closing, some questions for you:

  • What can we do to get these people to come back to our churches or places of worship?
  • What has made them stop coming?
  • Why do they still consider themselves religious, despite not regularly attending a place of worship?

Sorry more questions than answers today, but as it’s been on my mind for a few days now, I wanted to share my thoughts with you all.