In January 2012 the Lutheran Church of All
Saints in Stockholm Sweden added a Friday night
“techno mass” accompanied by ultraviolet lights
where the young dance in the isles to the beat
of the rock band up on the stage.
This Friday night service is the church's latest
attempt to attract young people in a country where
attendance at services has been dwindling for
decades. Over the past 10 years, membership in
Sweden's Lutheran church has fallen 13% and
attendance at regular Sunday services plunged 50% to
4.6 million in 2011.
Priest OlleIdestrom organizes the mass and says that
the feedback has been mainly positive. "There is
already a hip hop mass, there is a rock mass and a
jazz mass," the 28 year old priest told the
Associated Press. "But it is mainly club music that
we listen to and that we like dancing to, so it felt
like a natural choice."
Idestrom said that he had to turn people away at the
first techno massin April 2011. He said, "The
service started with organ music and choir singing
but soon broke into powerful techno beats to loud
approving claps, shouts and cheers. People jumped up
and danced at their seats while disco lights swirled
over the ornamented wooden ceilings."
Ella Schwarz, who is 15 and attended the mass said,
"It was super-fun, it was really kicking, I didn't
think it would be this good before I came. The
church isn't really my kind of thing,but after this
it seems like it is great."
What this teenage girl attended may have been
labeled as a church service, but it sounds like it
was far from it. As God looked down from heaven at
this “service,” I cannot help but wonder how much He
was grieved by man’s attempt to attract teens to
A lack of desire to attend church is a symptom of a
spiritual problem. If you are struggling in this
area, yellow caution lights should be flashing in
your mind alerting you to a serious spiritual need
in your life.
I came across this interesting article detailing the
religious practices of our American ancestors:
Jamestown, VA, was the first permanent settlement in
the new world, and some of their religious practices
were rather interesting. For instance, they had two
hour church services every day, and for 5 hours on
Sunday. Everybody had to attend. Missing church was
considered a sin and was dealt with severely.
The penalty for missing a service was the loss of
food rations for a whole day. A second absence
resulted in a public whipping. And the penalty for
missing three times was to be placed in the stocks
daily for six months! Historians tell us that
research has not revealed anyone in Jamestown Colony
ever missing church three times.
No one from your church will be by your house today
to discipline you if you missed this past Sunday’s
services. Perhaps we should send out the CIA (Church
Investigation Agency) to see where you were.
Or maybe we should dispatch the FBI (Fundamental Baptist
Investigators) to determine your whereabouts. You are important to
your church, and you should be a faithful, active member.
Still not convinced that church attendance is important? Let me two
good reasons for you to be in church every time its doors are
Our Lord Commands It. Every pastor can quote Hebrews 10:25 from
memory, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the
manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more,
as ye see the day approaching.”
Growing up, we sometimes questioned why we had to do something. My
mom would often respond, “Because I said so, that’s why.”
If for no other reason, we should be in church because God said so.
Our Life Demands It. We live in a world that is hostile to our
faith. All during the week we are bombarded by attacks from our
spiritual enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
As believers assemble together, we are able to “exhort” one another.
We can challenge and encourage each other to keep on keeping on for
I read a story recently that emphasizes the importance of being
faithful to church.
It was Palm Sunday and, because of a sore throat, five-year-old
Johnny stayed home from church with a sitter. When the family
returned home, they were carrying several palm branches. The boy
asked what they were for. "People held them over Jesus' head as he
“Wouldn't you know it,” the boy fumed, “The one Sunday I don't go,
He shows up!”
The next scheduled service at your church is the most important one
you will ever attend. God has something that He wants to say to you.
God may show up at your next church service. Don’t miss it.
[Tony Bazen, Park Meadows Baptist]