Recently Skye Jethani blogged about Excellence needing to be removed from our vocabulary.  I read the post and then sort of forgot about it.

This week I had the experience of attending a different morning service at Citipointe to the one my family normally attends as we had a bit of sickness and tiredness in my other family members.  My super son reacts to salicylates and it would not have been nice to have him in KidzChurch bouncing off the walls, he is fine today.  My wonderful wife had eaten some gluten and being a coeliac this is not a good thing, she is getting over this now.

Somehow, while sitting alone, I got to thinking about a comment one of the older members of the congregation made ages ago about feeling some of the church services were performance oriented. That member and I both go to an evening service of around 100 people while the morning services and the major evening service have around 1,000 people in them.

Our church would say it strives for excellence and this is not a bad thing but I am starting to think that excellence equates to “we do not make mistakes”.  Thus in the big service there is rarely a wrong note or wrong timing.  In the smaller service which is much more relaxed this can happen, the worship leader may come in early or the band play the wrong notes.  Everyone laughs and gets on with it.

Why do the larger services, everywhere I am familiar with, become more professional and less relaxed and thus less human?  If in church we should accept our and others imperfections why do try to hide them so well by being “professional” and “excellent”.  We accidentally seem to say that the humanity which Christ died for doesn’t really need salvation if we can get everything right in church.  This is a pernicious form of pride that seems to sneak up on us because we are striving for excellence.

I am looking forward to reading a book I have just come across called Pagan Christianity? which explores where we get some of our ideas for church from but I do not know if excellence or humanity is one of them.