Amazing Church

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Every Sunday I get at least two or three tweets that go something like this:

What an amazing day at [your church name]

I enjoy reading these types of tweets. Mainly because it is good to see that you are going to church and you are having an amazing day. But after a while that word, amazing, seems to lose its luster.
Not only is the twitter world obsessed with the word amazing, my mom seems to let her own version of amazing slip from her mouth. I usually ask my mom every Sunday, how was church, how was the sermon? Her response every time, Good. Every Sunday, same question, same response. What can I really expect to hear from her, “it was terrible,” or maybe “it was decent?” These would kind of be a weird response to something that is suppose to be, well good or amazing.

Have you ever thought about how the word “church” carries this idea of greatness? I myself feel this when I think of Moses and the burning bush. Remove your sandals because you are standing on holy ground. Understand that I do not see the church as a building. But when we think of church, we think amazing, awe inspiring, great community. We have certain select words that go to describe our experience. This cannot help but be seen in a twitter stream on Sunday morning or a Sunday afternoon lunch. The service was great, amazing, or if you are my mom, good. I wonder after a while if these words lose their meaning?

A year ago I was a Jr High Guys Bible teacher. One of the assignments that I had my students do each week was Music Monday. Music Monday consisted of one student bring in some music for the class to listen to and then discuss. We would break down the lyrics, why they liked the song, and the meaning or worldview of the song. As you can imagine, rap was a typical choice. The typical response from any teenager as to why they like rap mainly consist on because of the beat or the way it sounds, never the lyrical content. Funny thing is you never hear a teenager walking around making noises with his mouth to mimic his or her favorite rap song beat. No, instead they usually will be singing a few lines of a song that would make anyone within five feet blush. Often times this typical response would warrant a follow up question that usually asked them to get past the way it sounded and more into what the song is saying. I think we, the body of Christ have to get past words and more into what they mean.

When everything is described as amazing it tends to take away from those things being….amazing. Maybe we have a limited vocabulary to describe the way we feel or express our thoughts. But it seems that the problem of language continues to create separation between individuals. Often times I am turned off when I hear something as described as amazing or unbelievable. Maybe I have lost my innocence of a child on Christmas eve, but it seems that I fall into the Nihilistic approach of life and just do not tend to find things to ever deliver on the way they are described. In a country that lives in autonomy and focuses on the experience the word amazing means something completely different for you and me. Sure you can go to wikipedia right now and get the definition, but there is no way that you can define an emotion. This seems to be the reason for the disconnect. The fact that we start to define things for people instead of let them experience it themselves.

Maybe instead of trying to describe your next event as amazing you just ask people to come and partake.



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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • Nathan

    I was going to say “amazing blog Kyle”, but I'll just say it's good, lol. I feel the exact same way about the word “awesome”… another word that's horrifically overused in our culture.

    • @kylelreed

      Yup, it seems that we are running out of words or something like that. Or we are just very uncreative.

  • dannyjbixby

    Sort of, “If everything is amazing, nothing is.”

    Seems to be what I'm picking up? If that's what you're laying down ;)

    • @kylelreed

      Ya you picked it up my friend.
      Just don't step in it.

      • dannyjbixby

        Count it

  • Zac Cross

    Well I just want to point out that I have been at church and felt that it was not the least bit amazing. In fact, it sucked, it was boring, it was nothing new, etc. Sometimes I even would say there was no meat to that sermon. The phrase, ‘That was the best sermon we have had in a long time’ means something completely different if your church services are typically not good vs. being good all the time. If there were a grading scale and a church that got mostly A- that phrase would be used on an A+ sermon. However, if a church got mostly Cs or Ds, a B- could be the best sermon.
    Having said all that if someone says the sermon/church service was amazing every week, then even though the word loses a little of its value, at least it wasn’t horrible. Would you rather someone tell you it was good 52 weeks a year or say it was amazing one week and horrible the next?
    Clearly all of that was not really answering your question, I just wanted to give you an example that other answers can apply to the question “How was church?” As far as describing an event, a lot of people base their decisions on what other people’s opinion is. If I say, “you need to eat Jioio’s pizza, it is the best pizza on earth.” You would more than likely try it than if I said, “You need to try Jioio’s pizza, it is pretty good.” The same can be applied to an event. “Come to Youth Group, it is amazing and a lot of fun” sells it more than “come to youth group, we would love to have you.”
    P.S. Rap music sucks everyday of the week and twice on Sundays, but it is not nearly as bad as Country.

    • @kylelreed

      That is true.
      What i hear you saying is our opinion carries a lot of weight (IE: saying this is the best pizza or best youth service) and if we throw it out there and do not deliver it can bring disappointment.

      I do understand your point. I think the issue for me is that it does not seem authentic. It seems that it is very cliche and the thing to say. Why? Because church is suppose to be amazing and if it is not then we are in trouble.

      • Zac Cross

        I know it is supposed to be amazing. Maybe if it is amazing every week it is not necessary to say so. However, in the scenario I illustrated, saying that particular church service was amazing would actually be saying something. So I get what you are saying and think saying that church is amazing 52 weeks in a row equates to white noise. However, saying church is amazing once, twice, maybe three times a year, speaks volumes (both good and bad haha).

  • Tom

    I try to break it down using other words such as tubular, bodacious, sensational, and bewildering but people don't really dig that.

    • @kylelreed

      I wonder if those will catch on some day?

  • Josh

    I've felt that, in the last few years, I've replaced “challenging” and “what do we do with this” with the word, “safe.”

    For me, the gospel demands a response. Think of the early church. Those who heard the gospel were either (1) violently opposed, thus persecution, or (2) sold out and believed, causing them to share with others and face said persecution. I don't think it's something you can just sit with and do nothing, personally…

    • @kylelreed

      You are right, it does deserve a response of action. Not just a response.
      I think these words that we use often just convey that we have done enough and don't need to do any more.

      • Josh

        great post btw, man.

        • @kylelreed

          Check your email

  • JuliaKate

    i am on a church hunt and i tend to steer clear of the places that are advertised all over facebook & twitter by fans…. “i have the most amazing church!” “pastor so & so really brought the word today (or tore it up or broke it down)!” “Worship Rocked!!!” i tend to want to check out the places that are mentioned more like “I love my church family!” or “great small group” or “some hilarious conversation at the olive garden after church.” but i'm not a fan of church fans. anyway, yeah, words lose their meaning when we overuse them;)

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