As a church consultant, I have resisted the trend to define and template what some call a contemporary worship experience. I’ve had pastors ask me what to sing, what to say and even what to wear–often that turns out to be what NOT to wear. However, North Point Church did a great job in deconstructing the modern American worship service in this fun and somewhat scary parody.
“For some years it has been apparent that the rage for novelties in singing, especially in our Sunday Schools, has been driving out of use the old, precious, standard hymns. They are not memorized as of old. They are scarcely sung at all. They are not even contained in the non-denominational songbooks which in many churches have usurped the place of our hymn books.
We cannot afford to lose these old hymns. They are full of the Gospel; they breathe the deepest emotions of pious hearts in the noblest strains of poetry; they have been tested and approved by successive generations of those that loved the Lord; they are the surviving fittest ones from thousands of inferior productions; they are hallowed by abundant usefulness and tenderest memories. But the young people of today are unfamiliar with them, if the present tendency goes unchecked.” -Basil Manly, Jr., 1892 (thanks to Dennis Arriaga for this quote)
Are we facing a “worship crisis” as a friend of mine says, or are we finding new worship expressions for new generations? Does it really matter? 510