Recently Read: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way

Photo by klndonnely

Photo by klndonnely

Matthew Sigler unpacks contemporary worship and the underlying theology behind it which has led to a disconnect in modern uses of the form:

Now return to the scene I described above. What’s missing? The answer is found in looking at what happened when “praise and worship” was adopted by mainline denominations. During the 1990’s many mainline congregations began to import the songs, sounds, and some of the sights (like hand raising and clapping) of the praise and worship style. In many cases, what got lost was the robust pneumatology behind this approach to worship. In other words, many mainline churches brought the form, but didn’t bring the theology of praise and worship into their congregations. This is a gross generalization, but I think it explains some of the dislocation that occurred during the “worship wars” of the 1990’s. The result was that the songs themselves and the style itself became the focus. Particularly in mainline congregations influenced by the Church Growth Movement, “contemporary worship” was a technique for reaching out—the concept of “praise and worship” as sacramental/encounter was diluted at best.

via Misplacing Charisma: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way | Seedbed.

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Recently Read

Recently Read

Recently Read posts are stories the editors of The United Methodist Reporter have found interesting from other sites and wanted to share with our readers. The editors do not necessarily endorse the opinions shared in these stories, and referral here should not imply endorsement of that content.

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5 Comments on "Recently Read: Where Contemporary Worship Lost Its Way"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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John Feagins
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This is a very cogent observation indeed. I was fortunate in the early 1990’s to be immersed in and taught the theology and the forms of Praise and Worship in the Methodist Church of Mexico. The curriculum they used is still available on Amazon.Com http://www.amazon.com/Praise-Worship-Becoming-Worshipers-God-Gill/dp/0941975339/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386362008&sr=8-1&keywords=praise+and+worship+becoming The worship team was entirely lay-driven and open to all ages. Their musical instruments were consecrated to divine use. Before rehearsal, they broke into small groups of men and women and prayed for an hour kneeling on the floor of the temple. Their desire was a recovery of Biblical worship, not a secularization of worship,… Read more »
Wes Andrews
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I would add that as Pastors, when politics trumps the Good News, that can also distract those gathered from authentic worship. Our identity should not be politicized either with left leaning or right leaning politics. Unfortunately we see leaders highjack their services by overly identifying themselves with political points of view while merely paying lip service to the Good News and/or to God-inspired Scripture. Our mission is to proclaim Christ and yes, to promote his justice in the world. But this justice must be informed by the truth of Scripture, and not by the political winds of the day…
Wes Andrews
Guest
Holy Communion, Scripture, Music, Scripture, Teaching are all vital and important elements to meaningful and experiential worship. Another vital element is authentic connection between the pastor and the church community, and the connection they all experience toward the person of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That connection can become more effective based on effective pastoral leadership and the health of the community. If a pastor is disconnected and merely reading the Book of Worship, blandly reading his/her sermon which seems uninspired, and that pastor isn’t connecting with his/her church throughout the week, then the style of music and other… Read more »
james
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I am distinctly blessed by contemporary Christian music. It is often simple and very full of “melody.” AS THE DEER comes to mind as I type this. Seems to me the mainline churches–in lots of ways–have diminished the participation of laity in their services. We are expected to come sit with folded hands and swallow what is stated from the pulpit as “truth” hook line and sinker. Lay people are treated as illiterates because of our lack of “theological education.” One must be educated in how to present the Body and Blood during Communion. It surely cannot be just as… Read more »
Doug Lewis
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Having grown up in the Lutheran church and now a Catholic, I find that a liturgy that follows a calendar and is based on biblical prayers to be the vital to worship. The Roman rite, is grounded, unifying and builds one week after another, one year after another. Some may be critical of the repetition but what we have is a definite understanding of what we say, do and believe and people keep coming back for that.

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