Recently, when I started this series on “worship wars,” I entered with excitement about developing a series of posts that takes a hard look at styles of worship in the church. It’s time we really deal with the issues at hand. I have been amazed and challenged at what God has impressed upon me as I have jumped head-first into confronting this ugly problem of the church.
I ask that you commit to reading each of these posts as we journey together. I will be sharing my thoughts and insights as well as sharing some significant ideas from other writers.
It is important that we all separate our personal preferences and pre-conceived ideas as we make this journey. These are some attitudes we need to shed as we journey through this:
Some church leaders are convinced that their style of worship is the only style that should be considered. They look down on churches that are not in the same boat with them.
Fear of conflict. This unfortunately has kept too many churches frozen in time rather than confronting our culture, thinking missionally, and allowing God’s revelation to this generation to have a voice in worship. (I have had several pastors say that their church worships as they did in the 50′s and 60′s and they don’t intend to change that because they have not and will not experience conflict in worship).
Fear that we might be wrong. After all, we have invested quite a bit of resources into our current worship ministries. What if we are not lining up with God’s desire for His church?
We will seek God’s desire for our times of corporate worship. We will look at the idea of offering several different styles of worship services as well as offering only one style. If we have one style, what should that look like? What role should marketing play in worship styles?
I think Charles Swindoll (in The Church Awakening) summed it up very well:
What God intended for His glory and for our corporate and personal growth—worship—has been transformed from a soul-deep commitment to an ugly, carnal fight.
If there is anything that brings delight to Satan, it is the disruption of the worship of God.
It’s time to lay down the weapons, the insults, the accusations, the selfish desires, and all the other junk that keep our focus on things that do not matter. Let’s strive for worship that glorifies God.
The most important thing we can do as we move forward in this journey–PRAY. Ask God to give you His wisdom and direction for worship in your church. Ask Him to help you have an open mind as you work through these issues. I pray that God will keep us all in a state of unrest until we find His place for our times of corporate worship.
Let’s meet back here again for the next post.
I expect some lively comments along the way–and encourage that.
In the next few posts, we are going to dive head on into a discussion of styles of worship. Won’t you join me?
Kenny Lamm, senior consultant for worship and music for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, is a frequent worship conference leader with a strong focus on equipping leaders in North Carolina (USA) and Southeast Asia. His blog, Renewing Worship, features posts that explore ways to renew–impart new life and vigor to–the worship in the local church.