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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: The Right Move?
By Kellie Henningsen


“I never thought I’d see this day come,” Tom leaned towards Roger who was working alongside him. “I’ve heard of other churches doing this for years now but never in all my days did I think ours would give in.”

“Come on, Tom. It can’t be all bad.” Roger wiped the sweat from his forehead and grabbed a drink of water. “We’re just trying to keep up with the times is all. If we want our church to survive, we have to do this – seems it’s the way things are done now.”

“Well I don’t like it!” Tom slowly stood to his feet as his aging knees stiffened under the ample weight of his body. He leaned against the wall of the choir loft and slowly sipped on the water bottle Roger handed him. “What’s going to happen next, Roger? I mean really. Are we going to rip out the pews and put in a dance floor?”

Roger nearly spit the water out of his mouth as the vision of a scene too unfit for church flooded his mind. “Tom, we just have to pray that God will use this new stage for His glory and that young people will come to Him as a result.”

Grumbling under his breath, Tom cast a sidelong glance at Roger and got back to work. He didn’t need to be reminded to pray. He had been praying plenty. Praying the elders would see their way clear to stop this abomination. The choir loft had been a mainstay in the church for generations. To rip it out now to make room for the drums, electric keyboard, guitars, and what not was a sin to him.

The boards creaked and groaned as they gave way to the tug of the crowbar. Tom carried the scraps of wood to the dumpster to give himself time to control his emotions. He fluctuated between pure sadness and total disgust over the new changes.

Last Sunday, he had been shocked when he attended church. They had made the announcement there would be a work day today. “We’re excited to be making more room for our band by removing the choir loft and extending our platform,” they had said. There was no remorse or comment to those of past generations. No, the only ones they cared about now were the young crowd. Rather than singing great hymns of the faith, they wanted to fill their heads with loud music that reverberated with a steady beat and songs that repeated four word lines over and over again until the congregation became bored.


“It’s done, dear.” Tom sunk into the kitchen chair after arriving home from church. “The choir loft is gone…the stage is open and bare…and the band is making plans to move in sub woofers, a bigger drum set, more steel guitars, and who knows what else.” Tom’s head hung low as he let out a slow sigh.

“Honey, it’ll be alright,” Helen comforted him. “Did you know that during the Middle Ages, no instruments were allowed in churches – even pianos! Imagine, a piano being considered the work of the devil!” She brought her teacup over to the table and sat down next to her weary husband.

“Maybe now is the time for the church to move forward once again and embrace a new style of music like they did in the past,” she gently suggested.

The following Sunday, Tom, for the first time ever, left church with a headache. The steel guitars and beating drums were just too much for his aging mind to handle. Rubbing his forehead, he made his way towards the car while Helen stayed behind chatting up a storm.

“Hey, Grandpa!” fourteen year old George ran up to Tom and held the car door open for him.

Tom tussled the boy’s hair as he greeted him with a big hug.

“Wasn’t the service amazing today, Grandpa? I hope they have the band every Sunday. I’ve already got plans to invite some friends from school. They won’t be able to say that church is boring anymore! My Sunday School teacher is even gearing up to deal with new kids coming into the church. Pretty neat!”

“George!” his mother called. George said his good byes and blitzed across the parking lot leaving Tom with his thoughts.

“Could it be that this change was the right move after all?” Tom wondered as he sunk into the car seat to wait for Helen.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 05/08/09
Out with the old, in with the new certainly fits the topic. Thanks for writing on this subject in such a thoughtful way.
Mary Lou Cook05/12/09
This is great story. To reach the young people churches need to change. Better to be a live church then a dead church.
Bryan Ridenour05/12/09
Great take on the topic and well written. As a music and youth pastor I am definitely familiar with the worship wars....