Cafe Praise

Tonight I went to West Hallam Methodist Church (part of the Erewash Valley Circuit) to observe (share in) their cafe style worship.

Chairs arranged around coffee tables with nibbles and tea/coffee/pop/juice on offer (free). In the background c.d`s playing and then a couple of musicians playing guitar and keyboards while people talked and mingled.

When Tony de Boltz (Minister) began the evening it was a very low key invite to relax, get refreshments, listen and join in if we wished.

Couple of Praise songs, some of which I knew and others I didn’t, then a NOOMA (spiritual dvd, was played. I have a few nooma`s myself but not this one. It was simply called LUGGAGE. Boy, was it powerful ! A  suprise ending left everyone speechless and Tony took the opportunity to declare a break at this point.

After the break Tony issued a challenge to us all on the basis of the Nooma, to learn to forgive others. Then there was some more music, a prayer and close.

All in all it was very low key, despite the power of the challenge.

Is this the way of the future ? I don`t know. I was left feeling as though I`d been challenged, but I`m not sure if I worshipped. My focus was perhaps too much on observing rather than immersing myself in it.

I was reminded of how 15 years ago I was advocating this style of worship in Oldham but none of the churches would entertain the idea. And yet now many churches are latching onto the idea. Is this because it seems like an easy option ? or is it truly God driven ?

My personal feeling is that its probably a bit of both. In some areas it will be exactly what God wants but in others it may simply be a matter of leaping on the current bandwagon. I don`t really know and I don`t want to denigrate Churches who are trying.

I`d like to visit some other cafe style worship experiences and see how its handled elsewhere. In the meantime I would certainly recommend it to others to see if its what God is asking of their church.