Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Missional Solution to the Worship Wars

Has your church been through the "worship wars?" You know, controversies over music styles and service order, usually generational in nature. Here's a concept - Making those decisions based on mission not consumerism. From Ed Stetzer:
...After a few years of "worship wars," many churches decided to create multiple services based primarily on worship styles or worship preferences. As a result, the "Traditional Service," which normally had the backing of the older members (often with those who gave most of the financial support to the church), got the coveted 11:00 AM time slot, while the younger members (with little children) had to drag themselves and their half-dressed, unfed kids to church by 8:00 AM or earlier in some cases.
Over time, this changed and many now have the traditional service early, as it did (generally) experience the growth of a contemporary.

Often times, this was not a change flowing from a missional strategy, but rather one dictated by the consumeristic mindset of the church—we have to keep the customers happy. And, the problem is that it has often proven impossible for us to constantly feed our own preferences and have any appetite left to help the actual needs of those outside the satisfied family.
So, let me start by saying that a church should not be blackmailed into adding worship services by anyone in the congregation. I am not OK with older members saying, "Listen, we want this music and we pay all the bills. We'll let you go have your contemporary service, but we want you to pander to us." Nor am I OK with all the young people saying, "You know, I'm tired of those hymns; we want something cool and hip. If not, we're leaving." Preference pandering only further engrains consumerism in the church.Often times, this was not a change flowing from a missional strategy, but rather one dictated by the consumeristic mindset of the church—we have to keep the customers happy. And, the problem is that it has often proven impossible for us to constantly feed our own preferences and have any appetite left to help the actual needs of those outside the satisfied family...
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.....The wrong question to ask is "What type of music do I like?" That's finding satisfaction in the style and not the Savior.

The right question, the right starting point, is to ask, "What form of music would best suit our context?"

And, if that takes more than one expression, that's OK....
Much more at the link.