In class on Tuesday we talked about the different societal practices that we engage in. Ryan Bolger defined practices as “bundles of routinized human activities infused and bound by shared, often implicit, practical understanding.” Or basically…things that we do as humans that have a canon of rules and understandings that govern them (the example used in class – you have a right to play on a baseball team, but you can’t play football on that baseball team).
Since moving out to LA, I’ve been struck by how many of these implicit rules churches have. Every week when we’ve gone to a church for the first time, I get a little bit nervous about what I where…or what version of the Bible I have…or how early we get there. There is no way to know these implicit rules ahead of time, and each church is vastly different. We’ve found churches where it is against the rules to sing during the worship sets (of course, the churches would deny this…but then why don’t people sing?), be friendly to other people (another one denied…but why aren’t people warm and smiling?), or to be on time (if church starts at time X, why is half of the worship music over by the time we get there at X?).
so…there are a lot of unspoken rules at churches…kind of frustrating to be the new kids on the block sometimes.