This Week’s Reading, August 4

This Week’s Reading, August 4
August 3, 2017 No Comments » News Richard Bass

This Week’s Reading

August 4, 2017


On Styles of Worship

Because of the Common Liturgy experiment, worship styles are the talk of many at Aldersgate. We all have our preferences, and we sometimes think that our preferences are therefore the best choice for everyone. Thankfully, there are those who study and observe how churches and the different generations who attend them experience worship. Here are a few selections we found this week:

Thom Rainer, whose “I Am a Church Member” we shared a few weeks ago, thinks a lot about these issues. He has his own take on “What Worship Style Attracts the Millennials?”

“Most Millennials don’t think in the old worship war paradigm. In that regard, ‘style’ of worship is not their primary focus. Instead they seek worship services and music that have three major elements.

“They desire the music to have rich content. They desire to sing those songs that reflect deep biblical and theological truths.

“The Millennials desire authenticity in a worship service. They can sense when congregants and worship leaders are going through the motions. And they will reject such perfunctory attitudes altogether.

“This large generation does want a quality worship service. But that quality is a reflection of the authenticity noted above, and adequate preparation of the worship leaders both spiritually and in time of preparation. In that sense, quality worship services are possible for churches of all sizes.”

Rainer has posted another interesting article as well: “Six Reasons Churches Are Moving Back to One Worship Style.”

“You could not help but notice the trend of the past two decades. Numerous churches began offering worship services with different worship styles. It is not unusual to see a church post its times of worship for a contemporary worship service, a traditional worship service, and an occasional blended worship service.

“The trend was fueled by two major factors. First, many churches were fighting worship wars. The great compromise was creating a worship service for each faction. Unfortunately, that created divisiveness in some churches as each faction fought for its preferred time slot. Second, some churches had a genuine outreach motivation. Their leaders saw the opportunity to reach people in the community more effectively with a more indigenous worship style.

“Though I am not ready to declare a clear reversal of the trend, I do see signs of a major shift. It is most noticeable among those congregations that have moved from multiple worship styles back to one worship style.”

While all of the reasons he identifies do not apply to Aldersgate, some do, and others may in the future. The article is worth a read.

The Barna Group surveyed Millennials about a number of word pairs related to worship style. The results are interesting (click to enlarge):

Read the entire article, “Designing Worship Spaces with Millennials in Mind.”

–Compiled by Richard Bass

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