Thursday, June 20, 2019

“He who marries the spirit of the age will soon find himself a widower.”

If this guy is right "contemporary" worship isn't contemporary anymore.
...[O]nly 27 percent of millennials attend religious services weekly (boomers claim a rate of 38 percent; their parents, 51 percent).

One of the reasons they don’t go to church seems to be a disaffection with one of the most popular worship styles going now—a style much embraced by their parents and, especially, by their grandparents, the baby boomers.

That style is contemporary worship, as in praise bands and rock musicians, generic auditoriums with fixed theater seating or big boxy rooms with stackable church chairs and worship screens. This worship style is frequently found shallow and trendy, caught up in innovation and cultural conformity. The theology attached to it is often found wanting for the same reasons—it lacks spiritual gravitas, it is grounded in what is new and culturally relevant. ....

Is it too much to suggest that the old ways of doing “church” are the better ways? That a worship style that has prospered for many centuries has something theologically substantial, something religiously solid, to offer a generation that finds itself floundering among the flotsam and jetsam of religious ephemera and trendiness? ....

.... A Barna survey from 2014 found that millennials were favorably disposed to traditional sanctuaries. Of four options presented to persons aged 18 to 29, a plurality (44 percent) chose a traditional worship space, as opposed to the semicircular megachurch mode or a more straightforward theater-seating mode. Seventy percent preferred an unambiguous Christian chancel arrangement, largely traditional with an altar and a cross/crucifix on the back wall. Commented the researchers on the chancel setting: “These patterns illustrate most Millennials’ overall preference for a straightforward, overtly Christian style of imagery—as long as it doesn’t look too institutional or corporate. Not only do such settings physically direct one’s attention to the divine, they also provide a rich context of church history as the backdrop for worship.” ....

We as humans need ceremony. We are comforted by ritual. Every worship service of every ilk is built on form, on repeated acts. From the glitziest arena church to the little brown church in the dale, a worship service is constructed after a pattern that is repeated, sometimes identically, week in and week out. Everybody does liturgy. Why not return to a ritual that’s been around the spiritual block, that’s been tested by generations of fellow believers, that’s been known and authenticated as an effective transmitter of saving faith, that connects you to generations of Christians, to your grandparents and their grandparents and believers back to Martin Luther and maybe even Thomas Aquinas? You’re going to do liturgy anyway. Why not make it the real thing? (more)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.