“We chose the Greek word, KAINOS, to indicate something distinctive,” said Dr. Jimmy Gentry, semething vibrant and fresh. It signals something different.”
Gentry said the word KAINOS (pronounced KYE-NOS) is a word meaning “new” used in the Greek New Testament.
However, Gentry wanted the new service to be known by the experience and not by names. He is quick to explain that he doesn’t care for commonly used terms for new types of religious services.
“I’ve never cared for terms such as ‘contemporary,’ ‘traditional’ or ‘blended’ when it comes to worship,” he explained. “What’s contemporary to one person may not be contemporary to another. Our culture is such that, unfortunately, we have to have categories to describe or even define worship.”
Gentry also dislikes the concept of a “target audience” for KAINOS, saying that the target is only people and it doesn’t matter what their backgrounds are.
“The folks who come to this service will probably be younger because the music is more contemporary,” he said. “But it’s designed for any age group. Just because you’re over 40 doesn’t mean that you don’t like guitars, keyboards and a more casual atmosphere. Also, many young people prefer ‘high’ church with pipe organs and choir.”
Gentry said the first KAINOS service last Sunday was attended by 128 people of all ages.
“We had folks in their 80s and elementary children 8 to 9 years old, and every age in between,” he said.
The service begins each Sunday at 8:15 a.m. in the Tabernacle Learning Center (TLC).
“The music is provided by a band and a few singers,” he said. “Most of the songs are modern worship, but we’re not discarding hymns. There is a sermon and we had communion last Sunday, followed by a prayer of blessing.”nior pastor. “The name suggests so
He said the atmosphere is informal and worshipers came casually dressed.
“People came in blue jeans and shorts, but we had some with coats and ties,” he said.
However, Gentry said the service is orderly and is not a “pep rally for Jesus” or “Worship Lite.”
“It is substantive in content and biblical in its character,” he explained.
While Gentry delivered the sermon last Sunday, he pointed out that the service was led by worship leader Stuart Morris.
“He did an outstanding job,” Gentry said. “He’s 22 years old and a committed Christian. He guided the music and provided the main vocals.”
He said Morris works closely with Chad Sipes, associate pastor for students, and Alan Schantz, associate pastor for music and worship. He said Schantz is not able to participate in the KAINOS service because he is rehearing the musicians at that time to prepare for the 10:30 a.m. service.
Gentry said there will be eight to 10 Sundays during the year when a KAINOS service will not be held. One example is on Oct. 21, which is Tabernacle Baptist Heritage and Homecoming Day.
“There will be no KAINOS on the five Sundays in December since that is Advent and Christmas,” Gentry said. “The TLC will be transformed into a Christmas village, as it was last year, for the Carrollton Christmas Festival.”
He said there are also other times during the year when the entire congregation needs to be together for worship, or to sit down for a meal together.
Gentry said sometimes when churches have two different services, it creates two different congregations.
“We will do everything to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “A danger of doing services like this is that they can disconnect from the faith.”
Gentry said KAINOS is still very new and subject to change and tweeking to meet the needs of its participants.
One early concern was whether young people would make it to an early morning service. So far, Gentry said he’s heard no complaints about the time. He speculated that some people may like the idea of starting the day earlier and leaving time for things later in the day.
In addition, he added that being a Christian requires some effort.
“There’s nothing convenient about following Christ, his cross, his crucifixion and his death,” he said. “Following him is being willing to sacrifice.”
He added, “As time goes by, if we see the need to make adjustments, we’re open to doing that.”
Gentry said he’s concerned that people nationwide seem to be becoming more pagan, turning away from organized religion.
“The church has got to be responsive in meeting the needs of the people and living the life of Christ outside the Sunday gathering,” he said. “It’s a matter of bringing the church out into the world.”
Gentry said worship is all about “declaring the mighty deeds of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ.”
“KAINOS is just another offering to God,” he said.