Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Soap Box// Contemporary Worship

{Disclaimer: I know normally I don't discuss to many hot topics on my blog, I really do try to keep it light and happy. After all nobody likes a "Debbie-Downer." I also never talk about money, politics or religion. Today, I'm breaking that rule. Sadly, I don't use my blog as a format to share my faith, but I'm also not someone who feels the need to overwhelm others who might not believe the same things I do, with my Christian perspective. However, this post is likely to include a few bible verses and my opinion on modern worship, I totally understand if you don't agree and I'm not here to offend.} 

Over the last few months my mostly traditional southern baptist church has been in transition mode, to a more modern, contemporary style of worship. This has occurred for many reasons including logistics, size of the church, members of the church, leadership, and overall the direction that worship is going in this day and age. I understand that every generation probably endured some type of change in worship style within their lifetime in church. I would be naive to think that worship should be the same it was in the early 1900s. I'm sure the first church to have an orchestra accompany their choir got a few push backs from the elders in the church. I can hear those church ladies now sitting in those hot sticky pews, fanning themselves with the bulletin with their big hats saying, "remember when we just had a few choir members and the organ?"

Well, now I'm that little old lady sans hat. Except I'm not old. I'm in the demographic (between age 10 and age 50) that SHOULD like contemporary worship. The upbeat songs with lyrics projected on the screen, the keyboard, the 4 necessary guitar players, the variety of vocalists and let's not forget the drummer. However, I just can't stand it. Honestly, I've never been a fan of singing the same song that has 7 verses, 11 times. (We call the 7Elevens) And that is an exaggeration of sorts, but, sometimes the songs seem to go on forever. In fact our "new service" has been extended by 15 minutes, just so we can get all the verses in.

I'm really trying not to be critical, because I know this is how a lot of people worship. However, I am distracted by so much during the service, like, how the worship leaders recite scripture during a song, or how they raise their hands to the ceiling, and how informally dressed they are. None of that actually matters when it comes to worshiping Christ. You can worship Christ whenever, wherever you are, but it should be reverent no matter what. I feel that a lot of the actions are done because the worship leaders want everyone to think they are so worshipful and it just has a feeling of "look at me, look at me." While I could totally be wrong, it makes me uncomfortable and embarrassed for them. There are churches (in our area) where this is solely the only style of worship they participate in. I guess it's hard for me to understand why a traditional church with a steeple is trying to compete with the hard-ware store converted to a church. There needs to be a balance. I had chosen not to participate in contemporary style worship, which is why I was still attending my traditional style church. Now, I have no option.

Finally, I grew up where we sang "contemporary songs," not hymns, at summer church camp or during discipleship weekends, or on church trips. They were part of the experience and helped to create the spiritual high that we all got while on the trip so that when we got home our experiences would be reflected and we could reach others for Christ. Those songs served a purpose there, then every Sunday we would sing reverent hymns that our grand-mamas had sang to us since we were babies. Now that those contemporary songs are the norm, and the praise band is the norm, and the choir and orchestra are in the backdrop and the piano and organ are on the sidelines, the hymns are barely existent in their traditional form. It all feels like such a production. Sometimes less is more. I will miss the days of picking up the hymn book and singing one of the greats. Hymns can transform you mentally and spiritually to a place that I can't seem to get to through modern songs.

I know the devil is attempting to have a foothold on my heart during this transition. All my concerns, my reservations, my distractions, my negative opinions and attitude are all from him. I know that the Lord doesn't care how we worship Him as long as we do. Change is hard for me in regards to anything, and this is no different. I am continuing to pray about the situation and that everything will work out for His glory.

All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. 
Psalm 86:9-10

1 comment:

  1. Change is definitely hard. I love contemporary worship, but I totally understand your feeling that the worship leaders are not authentic. Some people do come off that way. Have you voiced your opinion to your church leadership? It's too bad they can't do one service traditional and one contemporary. I would think there are a lot of people in your church that would still prefer a traditional style of worship.

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