Worship is not what it was when I was a kid. Think about how worship has changed in the last 50 years. Think about the number of conversations (arguments), articles, blog posts, podcasts, and on and on that have addressed the topic of worship in the church. Do we really need another viewpoint on this subject? Who cares what a 50 something former Worship Pastor has to say?
Please indulge me for a few words and thoughts on the subject. I believe we have a generation that is tired of the talk and the justifications we all give to support our way of doing worship. What the world is looking for is not any particular style or method but sincerity, something that is real and authenitc. Oops… I said it, authentic. One of those catch words that seem to creep back in when it comes to talking about the church and what people want.
Since I have moved to my new position, it has required us to find a new church as well. The Kroc Center in Omaha did not make it a requriement that I worship here even though I work for them, but it is where we chose to settle. What drew us here? The feeling in worship that there is absolutely no pretense. No one was putting on a show or using a gimmick to lure us in. The worship felt pure to us, and THAT is how we knew this is where God wanted us.
Are we a contemporary service, traditional service, or blended service? Does it matter? Who is keeping track? Do we get more points from God because we are one or the other? “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) I don’t know about you but I really DO want to see God, and offering him worship from a pure heart will get me there. God does not require anything from me but to be authentic. Worship from a pure heart should be our focus, not what style we need to use in order to attract new people to our church.
What did worship look like when I was a kid? It felt more pure and without pretense. We just were beginning to introduce contemporary music into the service. Somewhere in the introduction of the new we got sidetracked and have been sidetracked for the past 30 years on style instead of content. Let’s commit to excellence in our worship (God does not deserve any less) and worship that is from a pure heart.
Sing on, friend!