By Jessica Connor
“Mom, look – chocolate cereal!” Cameron said, eyes bright in his 6-year-old face. “Oooooooh, Dora cereal!” 4-year-old Avery exclaimed. “Ooh, and strawberries!”
There we were, standing in the cereal aisle of my grocery store, and my two kids were overwhelmed with possibilities. Feeling healthy today? Try some granola and almonds. Wanting a splurge? Go sugar!
They danced from box to box, begging for this one or that one.
Leaving the store, my son asked why there were so many different breakfast choices.
“I guess because there are all different kinds of people, and we all have different tastes,” I said, and he nodded, happy with his Honey Bunches of Oats.
That thought came back to me as I skimmed the UMC.org website this morning, reading about all the new ways people are able to worship Christ in this nation. Like rock music? Try any number of contemporary worship services, including a U2Charist, a Eucharist featuring U2 songs instead of traditional hymns. Need some quick prayer on your way home from work? Try one of the drive-thru prayer ministries cropping up at churches all over.
Prefer the biker lifestyle? Try a biker-friendly service, such as Biker Church (aka Crossfire United Methodist in Moravian Falls, N.C.), where the congregation pulls up on their Harleys dressed in biker attire.
There are boat churches and churches in coffee shops. One church, led by a United Methodist pastor in Denver, Colo., is held in a bar and features a pastor who does a stand-up comedy routine.
As long as Christ is at the core and it’s scripturally based, none of this strikes me as a bad thing. Our society is filled with people who embrace all sorts of lifestyles. We’re all different. And when it comes to church, we prefer a service that makes us feel comfortable. Some of us like traditional hymns and pipe organs. Others like foot-stomping, hand-clapping praise music. Some of us like to wear jeans or shorts, while others prefer a suit and tie. And none of it is wrong.
I applaud churches that are stepping outside the norm and doing worship in a different way to try to reach new members. Those kind of vibrant, vital churches are seeing terrific growth, particularly among the unchurched or those who say they sometimes find church to be (gasp!) boring.
They want breakfast. And they’re simply trying to find a new kind of cereal on the shelf.