The “experiment”

In my post “Thursday coffee shop ponderings on Friday” I mentioned an experiment I was doing this past weekend.  According to my worship attendance stats (Yes, I keep worship attendance stats…I’m such a dork, I know) average worship attendance drops by about 13 when I am gone.  First let me assure you that I do not believe in the least that people skip worship when I am gone because they can’t stand to hear anyone but me.  I am not that full of myself.  My theory is that people skip because they think they “can get away with it” since I am not there to notice.  It sounds silly, but I think that is the mentality. 


This past weekend I was gone at the synod assembly and I did not tell the congregation I was going to be gone (except for the council and my deacons).  The experiment was to see if people would show up in my absence.


Worship attendance was way down.  I either need a new theory or the council and my deacons snitched.  I think I am going to vote for the latter.


4 thoughts on “The “experiment”

  1. Deacon

    Usher: Hey Deak, how can corporate worship be anything but performance?

    Deacon: Usher, it’s about the attitude of the heart – one cannot judge one’s heart – only God can

    Usher: Yeah, but only the musicians and leaders participate – the congregation simply mouth the words and follow the leader

    Deacon: Again Usher, you cannot judge

    Usher: Let’s do an experiment Deak, I’ll sing and see if anyone shows up?

    Deacon: Usher, you can’t there’d be noone left!

    Usher: Proves my point Deak – corporate choreographed worship is performance!

  2. heartofapastor Post author

    So what I hear you saying is that you believe that my parishioners think I put on a “good performance”. I think in some contexts your logic here is valid. I believe there are some “good performers” out there in the corporate worship setting. But to generalize your statement to include everyone is not valid. Worship here is not “choreographed”, but I don’t deny that it is choreographed elsewhere.

    People come to worship for various reasons. I have some that come to genuinely worship, no matter who is here. Some come because that is how they were raised. Some have told me that they don’t feel right if they don’t come to worship. Some come for the social aspect. And I am sure there are other reasons. But I am far from a performer so I do not buy into that reasoning.

  3. heartofapastor Post author

    But I do thank you, Deacon, for stopping by and submitting your thoughts. You bring up an interesting point…one that I believe many churches need to think about.

  4. Karat

    I’m sorry…but i don’t get what Deacon is getting at. Maybe a follow-up explanation?

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