Why All the Lights?


why is it always music?

why the same songs?

why only pretty people on stage?

why all the lights?”

Greg Powell explains the emerging church to Assembly of God pastors. Link

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TEACHING – why is it always the same teacher, with the same linear style, for the same length of time, at the same time in the service? can’t we have multiple teachers with multiple styles? and please don’t think the teaching is the most important part of the service. don’t get me “ready” for the message. scripture always noted the message from the Lord came first, then came the response of worship. oh yeah, and please do not give me all the answers. I’d like to do some self discovery and also some discovery with my small community. just put me on a path toward truth.

FELLOWSHIP – do not have sign-ups or organized times to hangout. do not have assigned topics for these times. fellowship will happen naturally – why? because I value it immensely.

EVANGELISM – please do not have organized outreach events. also stop with all your programs to attract the world to come to the church. the church is supposed to go into the world. stop “commissiong” missionaries and parading them across the stage as “special”. we are all special, and are all missionaries. my entire life is evangelism, it’s not an event.

LEARNING – please do not make a “system” for all of us to go through to become “spiritually mature”. don’t make me “run the bases”, or put me in a 101, 201, 301, 401 process. allow me the freedom to learn what I need to learn according to my life’s situations.

Read it all. .


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Grey Owl says:

    I have asked myself those questions many times.

  • shermankuek says:

    My sentiments exactly!!!

  • Alan Cross says:

    I agree totally and have been saying the same things for years. However, it gets a bit old when you actually do see people learning, getting saved, and growing closer to the Lord in all types of ways. My delicate “emerging” sensibilities have been shocked to see younger people who aren’t so jaded happy to know Jesus, even if He is communicated in a traditional way. Perhaps we should hold the truth that God is doing a new thing more lightly by realizing that He also works in old forms. Love and the leading of the Spirit is the key. Andrew, I have always appreciated the way that you point us forward without dismissing the past. Perhaps some of our reaction about what doesn’t work has more to do with what, we as younger evangelicals want, than what always reaches people.

  • Andrew says:

    Worship: At the risk of being shot down (as I generally am on this topic) I must stick up for the songs.
    No, not the same songs (or type of music)
    No, not pretty people on stage
    No lights
    But music and song is God given and I have been places within “sung / musical Worship” that I cannot go anywhere else. Music is a gift. It’s a God designed medium for praise, response and communication.

  • ella says:

    i wish i’d had this printed out for a conversation i just had… this is exactly what frustrates me when i go to worship. I feel like I come away squashed.

  • Sue says:

    Yes, this shows why the emergent church movement is often appealing to home educators (that’s home educators, not homeschoolers, incidentally). Yet there’s room for all styles, both in education and in worship. Some folk like structure, organised services, half-hour Bible expositions. The danger of any new movement is that it considers itself somehow superior to what’s gone before. Yet we’re all part of the Body of Christ, part of the rich tapestry of the church worldwide.
    Interestingly (well, for me anyway) our two sons, home educated in a relaxed and eclectic manner, have veered in different directions church-wise. One is all for the emergent thing, the other has returned to our Anglican roots.

  • andrew says:

    hi sue
    we have one child (Hannah) who just LOVES traditional church and retro chorus singing and childrens talks from the front. She drags us along to church with us on many sundays.
    but i also find that traditional church have emerging elements in their sunday schools and youth groups.

  • Matybigfro says:

    Hey that list just hit the nail on the head with pretty much all my main problems with some certain well known mega/big church’s in london, I think they are linked some how to AoG.
    And no matter how much i struggle with some of that style of church with big choir, Four (or more pretty people leading the singing) the wonder full message with always a nice slot talking about money making and then giving it to the church.
    I can’t get over the fact that one of these church’s in particuler has experienced massive growth in the last 5-8 years, since it began, now being a church of 3-5 thousand, and most of that number being between the usually non pressent 18-35 age bracket.
    and so I constantly stuggle with the dicotamy of the whole emerging church thing being birthed out of the struggle most of us have with having little to few under 40’s staying/joining/connecting to church. and here is a church that seem’s to have no problem getting these groups in or connecting with them( I would argue they possibly may not be great at keeping them but they can’t be that bad) but allot of the idea’s behind the church go completly against the grain to most of those that I agree with and that are comming out of the emerging conversation as the above post illustrates
    and also that many emerging church’s with grea worship and great idea’s sometimes seem to be just as small and non growing or active as the old traditional granny’s round the corner from me who are too scared of the outside world to want to save it

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