*Over the past few months I have made some observations that have disturbed me. I would like to share them and welcome responses. In no way am I pointing a finger at any particular group of people. The weight of struggle in these observations have mounted due to the frequency I have observed them. Mind you I am not trying to embellish these observations. I am honestly trying to present them as they are with as little bias as possible.

I have attended several student focused worship times over the past several months. I attended one recently that had about 100 students in attendance. There were adults there that were supervising the event. During the worship time it the students were not very much engaged in participating in song. The response was lethargic. You could audibly hear and see the adult chaperones talking among themselves as they sat in the back of the room. They were conversing, giggles could be heard from the conversation through out this “time of worship.” When the worship team completed songs they students and the adults would respond with applause. The response was similar to responses I have observed in bars at songwriter nights or band was playing.

During another event I was present there had been a time of worship in song. At this event both students and adults were involved and participating in the worship time. There were many hands raised in the air as an expression of praise. There was lots of clapping to the beat of the song. Some were singing passionately with their eyes closed. A final extended song was led and the house lights faded up. There was a man that came out and began the introduction to his sermon. As he asked for us to turn to the Scriptural text there were many adults and students that began exiting the auditorium while he was reading Scripture. They returned after a short while.

These observations have grieved me. They have also made me ruminate on my behavior during worship opportunities.

How am I engaging?

Am I critiquing the message or listening for God’s voice through His servant?

Am I at a concert?

Am I following the servant(s) as they try and lead me to a place of worship of the Almighty?

Is the Scripture being read as important or less important than the message that follows?

Am I worshipping The Almighty Creator?

Am I merely at a humanistic, moralistic entertaining and emotionally moving social event?