Thoughts on the Benediction as an Element in Worship

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Paul J. Scharf's picture

What?? ...a joke? an invite back to the evening service? a reminder to sign a clipboard on the way out? an encouragement to "have a good week"? a shout out to the local NFL team?

Sadly, any of these are probably more common in IFB churches than a Scriptural benediction.

For almost two decades, I have begun any service that I have had oversight of with a Scripture reading as a call to worship, and for as long as I can remember now I have ended almost every service I have preached at, whenever possible or practical, with a Biblical benediction.

As far as I'm concerned, the burden of proof is on those who would argue against either practice.

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

It would be nice if we could get rid of all of the things that go on during church services that don't inspire meditation, conviction, and worship. I feel like I have a case of spiritual whiplash, because one minute I'm listening to the choir or a song or the reading of Scripture that inspires worship, and then BAM! somebody stands up and tells a corny joke and I snap out of it. 

Paul J. Scharf's picture

I have visited one large IFB church where I always leave feeling like I have watched an infomercial. It's a string of announcements pieced together by a few songs and a sermon. Of course, it culminates with a hard sell (the invitation). To me, this is more worldly than worshipful.

Church Ministries Representative for the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Ron Bean's picture

When churches have a bulletin, announcements seem redundant and having them in the middle of the service (just before the offering, like the early church) just seems to break up the continuity of the service. What really gets me are services that include "the birthday/anniversary song", "the welcome song", "everyone shake hands with your neighbor" and/or the pledge of allegiance(s).

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

jimfrank's picture

Somewhere along the line a formal Benediction fell out of use in my church.  Oh, the term "benediction" appears in the bulletin every week because I put it there.  But we haven't performed a "proper" benediction in quite some time.

This past Sunday I pulled out our hymnal (yes, we still use one) and read number 4 from the convenient list of benedictions in number 238, Jude 23-24.   Jesus indeed is the One "Who can keep you from falling."   It was an encouragement!

Thanks for the thoughts.  Isn't it interesting how some "traditions" develop not on purpose but from a lack of use?