The church I serve as Lead Pastor has multiple worship services.  Several years before I arrived they made an intentional decision to offer multiple styles as well as multiple times.  The logic was simple.  Worship is the heartbeat of a church and the chief connection for most persons with God and one another.  Worship is the means by which we intentionally affirm our connection to and commitment to the Living God.  Worship matters. Worship matters immensely. Although worship is about God, worship is also about the worshiper.  It is a very personal expression of one’s relationship with their Savior and Lord.

This was the time when churches were engaged in the worship wars–pitting generations and expressions of praise to God against one another.  Some churches tried to blend, only to make everyone unhappy.  Others chose one over the other.  Choosing tradition at the expense of discouraging and disconnecting future generations. Others chose contemporary, basically jettisoning the spiritual needs of previous ones.

My church chose multiple styles, affirming the importance of worship by allowing for the heart and the temperament of all generations to be unimpeded in their offering of themselves to God.

It is a decision I affirm.  It places affirmation and support over convenience or ideology.

It is a ministry value that requires a commitment by the church as a whole. That is to make sure that all worship services are of the highest quality, receiving the best support, planning and leadership as possible. In particular, one service dare not be preferred over the other by the pastor and leaders.  Nor can the leaders allow the worshipers in either style to claim theological superiority over the other. All worship services must operate from a clear vision that honors God. Different styles can unfortunately confirm a consumer mentality. Give us what we want!  Worship leadership must constantly reinforce, we are helping you give to God what God wants–by reminding all of us what God is due and equipping us to offer it.

(c) 2011 by Stephen L Dunn

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