The worship style debate, or as it is called by some, the worship wars, still rages on even in the 21 century. It is just another one of those ugly marks on the church. It does nothing but divide, alienate and isolate. It pits church staff against church staff, church members against church members and church members against church staff. It has led to the firing of staff, the exiting of members and even the dividing of a church congregation. Sounds amazingly hard to believe, and I can’t think of any other topic in the church that has more opinions thrown at it than perhaps what color the carpet in the new sanctuary should be!
While I personally have a hard time getting my head around the whole worship style debate, I have been trying to come up with a nugget of thought, a kernel of an idea or some kind of philosophical statement I could rally around that would help me make sense of it all. I needed something that if asked, I could float out there as my kind of “talking point” concerning this whole issue.
After a recent in-depth conversation with a dear friend of mine, I think I have at least started on the path of coming up with something that helps me. It’s probably not anything earth-shattering but for me, it at least helps me bring some peace and possibly offer a solution, if that’s possible, to those still struggling with their own thoughts. So, here it goes:
If you toss out contemporary music and hold fast to hymns, you’re forgetting future generations.
If you toss out hymns and only cling to contemporary choruses, you’re missing the wisdom of previous generations.
Bottom line, it’s really NOT about style AT ALL, it’s about THE MESSAGE and the heart of the worshipper.
So, let’s bring in something old, because it has the merit of being tested through the ages and is often replete with wisdom and wonder!
And let’s add something new, because there is a generation out there that needs to be shaped for the future, and if you want to reach them, speak their language!