I’ve been thinking about worship a lot recently. My congregation has a very large organ and a good weekly attendance for our 2 Sunday worships. Both of the worships are traditional. I find value in both the traditional and the contemporary, in fact we are trying out some contemporary worship songs in between the worships on Sunday. People have asked for this type of worship.
But even as we continue to think about worship and how it connects with people, I feel as if we may be missing a point.The following quote is from an article I read sometime in January. I copied this quote, but forgot to copy the source. (So if anyone has read the full article, please pass it along to me.)
For me the difference between any of it are intangibles around the community, ingredients of authenticity, the spirit of worship in a place, and the ability for the band/choir/organist/leader to be one with the community. I have been to contemporary worship venues with Chris Tomlinesque songs, and it felt false- the band played well, the people were there, the songs were fine, but somehow it was unreal, distant, etc. It just felt off.
Then I’ve been to places where the band played the same song, the same way, in the same style setting, and everyone sang and cried out and the band seemed as lost in the worship as anyone else. The common factor across these is not style, and really never has been. It has been the spirit of the worship itself, all those authenticity/spirit/one-ness things.
Truly, the intangibles make it harder to shift a community. We can easily tinker with style, it is much harder to have a community learn to worship and mean it. I do have preferences for the kind of music I personally like, but have been drawn into worship across styles and it has always been because the story is told well and has drawn everyone in.
It’s not the style of worship it is the community surrounding the worship, which makes the worship connect. Good thoughts…what do you think?