Church is a strange phenomenon. I go to one, and it makes me feel conflicted. The idea of church is great, and sometimes church itself is great, but more often than not, I end up feeling uneasy watching people perform. A lot of it is just that: a performance.
I'm not a Christian to perform, or to show anyone else what a wonderful Christian I am, or to go to church, or to be anything in particular, and social media in particular is bugging me to the n'th degree. I can get all caught up in the worship, and then open my eyes to see someone in front of me holding their phone up above their head as though they are in a concert, turning around slowly to video everyone and then upload it on Facebook, and BAM, the moment is gone. Or today, when the youth pastor whispered to a young fella sitting by me, who quickly took up his position with his phone to video the then supposedly spontaneous moment when the youth pastor went to the front to encourage everyone to come up and encounter God! I'm sure I'll see the video on Facebook later.
The band of course turns their volume up so loud to effectively drown out everyone in the "audience" and in fact leaves my ears feeling somewhat battered when they're finished. There are a lot of new songs lately - because apparently the praise group is recording their first album (did I mention performing?) and nobody actually knows the songs, and that also makes it very disjointed. And all of the new songs sound exactly the same, and sound strangely similar to other songs...
...which brings me to a particularly amusing point. D leaned over to me half way through the service today and whispered "what does this remind you of?" and not being a great music buff myself, I admitted to not knowing, and he started singing a popular secular song - with exactly the same rhythm and tune... and then, as nobody could hear us (or themselves, or anything else for that matter) started singing Smash Mouth - All Star for the next song, and I just couldn't help myself laughing. I found it impossible to take the band seriously after that!
I don't think I'm a very good Christian. But then again, I do prefer to think that going away and sitting in a quiet place alone is just as effective in encountering God.