Church Worship Services
Recently, my wife forwarded me an article about the “dangers” of church’s creating a “concert” style worship on Sunday mornings. Its bottom line was simple — if the church is gearing their worship service to entertain people rather than worship God, then it’s wrong.
I agree with the principle, but I have an issue with some of the assumptions the author offered. I’ve read other articles in the same vein and I have to disagree with much of what they want to argue. I know their hearts are in the right place, but I think their need to WANT to find something wrong blinds them to what God is often doing.
I grew up with a worship service that was basically a piano and an overhead projector. We had some tambourines and every so often we may have had a guitar. That’s it. No lights. No smoke. The basics.
But for some people who may have walked into our doors, they would’ve viewed our worship services as not truly worshipping. Why? Because we didn’t have hymnals out. Because there wasn’t an organ. Because of some other reason they wanted to come up with. That kind of worship worked for our little church — take it or leave it. Some left and ended up going over to the more conservative Methodist or Baptist church which had the hymnals, the single piano and even potentially an organ. Our “cutting-edge” worship of the early 80s was too much.
Today, things have moved away from the over the head projector to more of a concert-style worship service. We have smoke-makers, some lights, electric guitars, and the words are displayed on video screens. And yet all of that is being put into question because it’s not “like it used to be” and we start attempting to assume/believe that there are different motives in having services like this.
Worship services WILL change with the times — that doesn’t mean they are bad. As long as God is the central focus of all worship, not the band, not the smoke, not the music, but God, it’s okay.
100 years ago, worship services were conservative and consisted of hymnals, and maybe a piano, if one was available. 1000 years ago, worship consisted of a Latin mass with incense and a very calm, dignified approach. 1000 years before that worship consisted of blowing horns, some dancing, a few musical instruments, but was still very ritualistic — and bloody.
Today, some of the same churches that were modern (using a piano, guitar, overhead projector, and no hymnals) got flack from all those that wanted those things. And now these same type churches (who still have the piano, projector, guitar and no hymnals) are sitting back complaining about the churches with smoke, electric guitars and mood lighting.
The Church is hurting herself by some of this “other churches are wrong and here’s why” approach and blogging. God’s got things in control, so back up a bit and look at the bigger picture. Sometimes we are so concerned about the color of the carpet, we don’t see what God is attempting to do in our midst.