My church has been wrestling through an issue that has run rampant in the church for years: contemporary versus traditional worship style. We all came out of a church where there were two different worship services with two distinct worship styles. Although people were comfortable and led with the styles that were most conducive to their own personal preferences, there was an overwhelming sense that we were a congregation that felt disconnected from one another.
One element of that disconnectedness is the size. When churches reach a certain size, it will be increasingly more difficult to fight against the disconnectedness because there are so many people. That's a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.
But the other element of the disconnect is feeling that we can all come together at one time, in one place, with one style that will unite us. I have struggled for years as to whether or not I think this is a "pipe dream" or if it can really be achieved. Unfortunately, it seems that, while there may be a few people who take comfort and joy in a corporate worship service where the worship music style is more of a mix between the historical and the contemporary, the overall consensus is that people will eventually grow tired of the compromise.
My own experience has shown me that when some people say that they want a blended service, they really mean that they will tolerate the style that they are not in favor of in order that their own preference can take a front seat. While there may be some who generally can be led in either style, they are a small minority.
My own stylistic preference is eclectic, at best, and scattered at worst. I have had seasons of my life where I have been in more traditional services and I was able to worship there. But, truth be told, during those times, I also had places where I could regularly go and be a part of a contemporary style as well. I found a rhythm that worked and those who wanted separate and distinct styles were able to corporately worship in those specific instances and places.
As I think and wrestle through this issue, I have no choice but to wrestle through it in myself. It's hard for me to remember a time when I did not have a significant part in leading corporate worship services, but I am trying to ask myself questions to help myself try to find some resolution to this issue, if that's even possible.
So, tomorrow, I will post 7 sets of questions that have helped to challenge me as I have wrestled through this. See you then!