Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Blowin' in the wind


Maybe I am becoming more tolerant as I get older? I know I do tend to resist becoming institutionalised and, hopefully, as my roots grow a bit deeper, I can sway more readily as Rob Bell so beautifully described at this years Greenbelt Festival.

In stark contrast I am concerned there is an undercurrent developing amongst some Christians who prefer their Worship to be that which they perceive as only happening when singing so called Worship songs. Evidence of this is clear in the hurtful responses on the Greenbelt website to a request for feedback on this year's (2009) Communion Service. The majority of the complainants stating that Tim Hughes should have ‘led’ the Worship are the very ones with the most unforgiving and consumerist views!

So, is this the future, I wonder? A new breed of Christian who only wants to Worship exclusively their way and with their preferred style of music who don’t get the idea of a ‘community’ of fellow travellers?

I was deeply saddened to read some of these comments on the Greenbelt website, I thought the service was fantastic. It was obvious there were some issues with the music, but, frankly, the music has been grim at around 225 of the last 250 communions I have been to in the last 5 years or so and Greenbelt has only run 36 since 1974. The vision of the service was so much larger than who led worship and whether the music was inspiring.

And why do I sway more? Well, regardless of what I think of so called modern worship music (not a lot!) I do stand up and play it when needed, I don’t walk away from services because ‘the worship is doing nothing for me’ and I try to be sympathetic to other points of view even when I don’t necessarily agree. I am no saint and I often think my preferences are best for everyone but I accept there are times to just let things happen around you for the greater good.

Ok, ok, I have to confess I would really struggle if Greenbelt sold out and did get Tim Hughes, or one of his ilk, to lead the music at communion ;-)



stillers said...

Understand entirely Peter! Thanks

Sam Charles Norton said...

I think my earlier comment got lost in the ether, but could you say a bit more about what you think was 'fantastic' about it and what the vision of the service was? There were bits I thought excellent too, but taken as a whole...

Sam Charles Norton said...

PS for those struggling to find the conversation BB is referring to: http://www.greenbelt.org.uk/blog/2009/08/take-an-olive-seed/

Peter Banks said...

In RT to Sam:

If you were looking from a business perspective then the GB09 service was 'fantastic' because it ticked lots of boxes. However, not keen on that expression so here are some pointers and a great link!

It had a great sense of community and justice. It was very creative and imaginative. It didn't explain everything, for example, we could go and read English versions of the Bible readings. There was a deep sense of the Sacrament with the olive oil and sign of the cross. The 'Elbow Bump' linked us directly with those bereft of full health and strength and the very outcasts that Jesus stood up for, to me that was fantastic on its own!

I am not saying it was perfect, what it was was a shared moment of succour to soul and spirit that is precious and rare.

Anyway, I am just learning to write, here Theo Hobson has encapsulated the essence of Greenbelt in his Guardian article:


Sam Charles Norton said...

Hmmm. Agree about the oil which was wonderfully sacramental and moving, but as for the rest, I feel a blogpost coming on!

Sally said...

"Ok, ok, I have to confess I would really struggle if Greenbelt sold out and did get Tim Hughes, or one of his ilk, to lead the music at communion ;-)"

me too!

I don't mind Tim Hughes but not exclusively.... will never forget that it was you who introduced me to And Can it Be!