Thanks Rachel. Beautiful.
I pastored and led worship for many years in a congregation that was one of the loudest I knew; we had a group from our home for the mentally handicapped, and a large number of street people who would regularly offer commentary during my messages.
The commentary only made the messages feel more profound, I think. Life interwove with life, ideas with application, with messy, forgiving life together.
My favorite messy moment? Once when I was in Winnipeg at a great church that served prostitutes and native glue addicts, a little, old bent over street woman came up and stood beside me while I spoke.
She was half my height, and held my arm. I put my hand on her back. We smiled at each other, and she stayed with me through part of the message, then wandered off the stage.
There is so much joy in the buzz, in the energy, of life together. Why would we trade that for great graphics?
NOTE: I am also a musician and artist, so I appreciate the “creationality” of churches that care about aesthetics, presentation, astute design and expressive architecture. It is the mingling of these that almost never occurs, because often those whose tithes could resource the excellence don’t want to be at a messy church.
It has been my privilege to know many who do though, and they have my deepest love and respect for directing their resources toward serving the poor, the outcast and me.