Driving to work today I was bugged when I saw a sign on a church directing people to the 'Worship Center'. This has been brewing in me for some time and I think I finally figured out why.
It used to be that most all protestant churches, even 'low church' denominations called their worship space a sanctuary. More and more though I'm seeing them renamed as 'worship centers'. This bothers me as it seems to me that we lose some of the holiness of gathering as 'church' this way. It's a mindset. Sure, whenever two or more are gathered in His name He is there and all, but Church is more than gathering together.
Even before I was Catholic, I always felt there was something special about the sanctuaries of traditional style churches. The pews, the weathered songbooks, the podium, the choir loft, the baptismal area, and the communion table all gave the feel that this place was special, set apart specifically for the worship of God. That's the very definition of holy or sacred.
Today's 'worship center' has none of that. It could be any room with chairs and a stage. While, again, we can certainly worship God in ANY place and should be doing so in all times and all aspects of our lives I think we really lose something by getting rid of the 'sacredness' of our churches.
The thought that concreted this in my mind this morning was that when we do this we risk church being about what WE do for God, and less about honoring what God has done for us.
Just my thought for today!