12 May, 2007

One Word at a Time - Weekend Edition

WEST BAINES, ARKANSAS

"We've all done it. We've been singing a song with a group, or maybe especially when we are alone, and we simply cannot remember the words. We get stuck. That's what we want to avoid," explained McKinley Grant, Senior Music Minister for Internal Outreach at The Gathering Spot.

This former First Baptist Church of West Baines, Arkansas was once filled hymnals in the racks on the backs of pews. "These books were more commonly referred to as 'song books' or 'hymn books'," said Grant. "I always wondered what those funny racks were on the back of the pews," said 15 year old Iris Johnson standing nearby.

In the later 1990's the church was the first in West Baines to go completely to Power Point presentations. "It was revival," said 22 year old Haley Williams. "You could tell that the PowerPoint brought the Spirit to this very spot." Which may be, in part, why the church voted to change it's name to The Gathering Spot at the turn of the millennium. The name change brought excitement and attendance grew for a while. But, "soon it seemed that attendance became stagnant. That's when I came up with the idea of the repetitive one word song," said Grant. "Quiet simply, the song consists of repeating the same word over and over again to a common tune."

Grant continued, "It all started when we were singing 'Holy, Holy, Holy' off the song screen during one morning service. I noticed vastly different participation throughout the song. There was obviously greater participation during the repetitive 'Holy Holy Holy' parts. When we came to other words and phrases, there was a considerable drop off in the volume. Then it hit me. With less different words in the song, more people will be able to remember the words. It's a simple concept, and it works."

Noah Thornton, 17, testified, "With the new songs, I get it, I finally get it. Before, when the words were constantly whizzing by on the song screen, I couldn't keep up. I never knew how to say most of those bigger church words. But now, after singing 'Sanctification' over and over again, it's obvious to me that these types of songs have helped me grow spiritually. I can now pronounce the word 'sanctification' with confidence."

"Don't worry," said Grant, "it's not all churchy all the time. Most days we begin with a very comfortable ice breaker. For example, this week, we plan to sing the repetitive one word song 'Joy' to the theme of The Flintstones. Now who can't do that? Everyone will participate, and it's a lot of fun. Last week, we opened with 'Faith' to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. The week before that, it was 'Hope" to the theme from Welcome Back Kotter. Try it yourself. You'll see."

Brother Slawson

11 comments:

AspiringTheologian said...

This has got to be my favorite post done by you yet. Very nice illustration of what is happening in too many churches today - people don't want to think about worship, just "feel" it.

In Christ,
The Aspiring Theologian

Knight of the Living God

Concerned said...

This is a satire sight, but not in the way you think. The guy who runs it and most of us regular readers are devout Christians; we just enjoy reading articles that parody extremism. His purpose is to keep us focused on what's important, through the use of satire. The purpose of Landover Baptist is to ridicule all Christians (although it's ostensibly only the extreme, Fred Phelps variety), as evinced by naive people earnestly seeking help and deliberately being led astray on the Landover Forum pages.

Elder's Wife said...

Delicious!
Kat

face the truth, tho... said...

Well, doesn't this blog site deliberately lead others astray by posting stories that aren't true, and by stretching the truth beyond believability, and bashing other Christians that God has used extensively?

Tominthebox News Network said...

Face the truth said...

Well, doesn't this blog site deliberately lead others astray by posting stories that aren't true, and by stretching the truth beyond believability, and bashing other Christians that God has used extensively?

Ahem...no.

1). No one is "led astray" because I'm up front with the fact that it's satire. So therefore it doesn't lead astray. If people simply read they can understand quickly that it's not a path to be "followed" but observed.

2). "Bash" - "To engage in harsh, accusatory, threatening criticism." First of all, some of the people I bash I'm fairly certain are NOT Christians because they preach a false gospel (i.e. Fred Phelps, Creflo Dollar, Bishop Spong, etc.)

3). Because God has "used" someone doesn't mean that their pernicious errors and false doctrines should not be exposed and rebuked. I do that by way of humor. Others do that by means of meticulous apologetics.

-Tom

P.S. The Landover Baptist Church site is utter blasphemy. There is a theme of hatred towards God and all Christians on the site. I want nothing to do with it whatsoever.

concerned said...

For anyone who's wondering, I was replying to someone other than aspiringtheologian.

Tominthebox News Network said...

Yes, there was a comment posted after Aspiring Theologian that I deleted because it had a link to a very bad site on it. Thanks Concerned for defending me.


-Tom

face the truth, tho... said...

ok now. This used to be a site I enjoyed visitng. Now I see how you are. I responded to a comment by stix posted earlier. Now that that comment is gone, I am looking like the bad guy here. Remove the things youd on't like. and not only that, but you replace the things that you removed with lies as in your articles. Why? To make yourself look good. are you that shallow of a 'christian' that you have to put down others to put yourself on a pedistal? Are you all that stuck on yourselves? Come on...I'd rather go to another site where comments are not deleted so any user can see the whole story.

i am not defending anybody on here, yes they were bad sites that are similar to yours, but don't delete them because youd on't agree with them...goodness

Tominthebox News Network said...

Face the truth,

You're right. This blog is not a debate site, nor is it a message board where people can post anything they want to. If you'll look through past posts you will see that I don't automatically delete people who disagree with me. As of today, Styx's posts was only the third I've deleted. One post in the past was deleted by mistake and another was spam. People are free to disagree with me here but I'm not going to let people post links to blasphemy on this site nor further the causes wickedness.

The Landover Baptist site is terrible, vulgar, and pornographic. Sorry, ain't gonna let that slide. The satanic church link...same deal...nope.

Think of my blog as a restaurant, if you will. We'll call my restaurant, "Tom's Cafe." Down the street there's a strip club called "Big Eddie's House of Ill Repute." Now I'm free to run my little cafe as I see fit, as is Big Eddie. People who want to come have a meal and enjoy good food come to my shop. People who want to get drunk and do other things go to Big Eddie's. But one does NOT have the right to come into my restaurant and demand that they be allowed to put up ads for Big Eddie's. I'm under no obligation to do that.

So, as it is my site I will control the posting as I see fit. I will not allow people to put up advertisements for my competitors (my competitors being the kingdom of darkness). If that doesn't suit your style then go somewhere else. Just as in a restaurant, if you don't like the food, the atmosphere and the service then eat at a different restaurant. One does not go into an Italian restaurant and complain that they don't serve Borscht. I'm still going to keep serving the same meals. You're under no obligation to like them.

-Tom

kentlee7 said...

On the restaurant analogy: It should be 'Tom's Diner' (a la Susan Vega), do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do...

Seriously, this is a great sight for pointing out some of the excesses in American evangelicalism and religious life, as well as religious sorts that are unbalanced, off-base, heterodox, or even heretical. I'm glad there are bloggers like this taking a stand for good common Christian sensibility.

If you don't like Tom in the Box, there's always greasy chicken in a bucket.

AspiringTheologian said...

Thanks "concerned" for the clarification...

In Christ,
The Aspiring Theologian

Knight of the Living God