15th January 2017

Give Me That Old-Time Religion 

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…”
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV UK)

Which music platform do you think turned a larger profit last year—an ‘app’ like Spotify or vinyl records? The answer might surprise you. According to Time magazine, vinyl records brought in more than $226 million dollars last year in the United States alone—almost double what free digital music streaming services earned from advertisements. But what really made me scratch my head was that most of the people buying these old records were in their 20’s and 30’s. What’s old is new. And actually, there’s a similar movement happening in churches right now too.

Over the last few decades we’ve seen attention shift from community-based congregations to ‘mega churches’. And these types of gatherings have had their moment. Big stages and flashy worship services became a model for what a ‘successful’ church should look like. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with these big gatherings, some mega-church pastors have acknowledged that they’ve faced some serious challenges too—trying to help people know and care for one another other and, more importantly, helping congregants mature in their faith.

But now there’s an upcoming generation of youth who grew up in these larger churches; and now they’re looking for a change. They’re seeking out more intimate church communities where they can get involved with a missional cause. And when it comes to worship, many are searching through the pages of the old songbooks and finding hymns inspired by such giants of the faith as Charles Wesley, Martin Luther and Augustine. Just like the run on vinyl records, that ‘old time’ religion has become ‘new’ again.

At WGC/GCI, we think we’ve got a little of that ‘old time religion’. Our congregations aren’t too large or overwhelming. We’re a tight-knit group of believers who have been saved by God’s abundant grace and we can’t wait to share it with the rest of the world. And like those original converts to the faith who gathered for meals and fellowship, we love getting together before, during and after a service to build real and lasting relationships based on Christ’s love and mercy. So whether you’re one of those people who has gone back to the ‘real’ sound of vinyl recordings or you’re just looking for some of that ‘old time religion’, swing on by one of our WCG/GCI churches or fellowship groups. We’d love to have you join us. 

Heavenly Father, we love the new, the trendy, the different. But sometimes the old, the traditional and what has been tried and tested, are actually the most helpful for us after all. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach


About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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