It’s quite the topic for discussion as many churches in America today are struggling with just how far to go in worship to appeal to the informal and entertainment-focused culture in which we live. Various churches that have long been settled into formal and predictable worship are frequently solving the dilemma by splitting their assemblies into two well-defined groups each Sunday. One service remains rather formal…some might say “stoic”…while the other service (generally a little later in the day) is characterized by a laid-back casual atmosphere and usually by a full slate of entertainment, accompanied by a full band.
But lots of folks in the younger generation are rejecting organized religion altogether, insisting that true worship to God is not characterized by meeting with a certain group of people at all, but is rather being immersed in the culture…blending in with sinful man, so that the love of Christ introduces people subtly to the love of God and brings them, not necessarily to a new lifestyle, but rather embraces them where they are and allows them to “reflect Christ” in whatever lifestyle they may be found. This kind of “evangelism” is better done in a bar than a church building and better expressed in feeding the homeless than in having Bible studies with them. Thus, rather than bringing people to the church, we “grow” the church from the people. It’s often called the “emerging church”.
So which is it? Is it either? What are we, as God’s people, to do in this culture of tolerance of all lifestyles and worship styles. Does God care about the details of worship or is He only interested in the zeal and sincerity of the believer? Does the Bible speak to this and, if so, is the Word relevant in our practical styles of worship today?
These are some of the questions we will attempt to answer this Thursday night, May 16th at 7 p.m. CST/8 p.m. EST. There are some who believe the exploration of this topic is very important for all of us. Others think it’s only important to delve into the details of scriptural authority if you are personally convicted by conscience that it matters. I hope you can join us this Thursday. I hope you will bring your comments, questions and insights. It will be an interesting discussion. I do not have all the answers, but I do believe God ultimately does. Let’s be humble before Him. Let’s be honest before Him. And let’s study together. I’m praying about this. I hope you will, too.