There are loads of books out there on worship. Ones about authentic worship, spirit filled worship, high-tech worship, contemplative worship, etc. I think that someone should write a book called awkward worship. Bear with me. I think that there is awkward worship going on all the time in churches. Awkward of participants. Awkward for leaders. Reasons for awkward worship could include:
- The music is too loud for my preference and I am holding my ears or really wanting to. Awkward.
- I am excited about God and these people look like they are ready to fall asleep on him. Awkward.
- The style of music is to gospel-ish or rock-ish or country-ish for my preference and I hate it. Awkward.
- I am young and this song sounds like my great grandmother wrote it and I don't even understand what it is saying. Awkward.
- The words are meaningless or repetitive for my preference and I feel like a fool trying to talk to a deaf God. Awkward.
- I have never been taught what a musical note is, but I am expected to read music and sing tenor when I visit your church. Not happening. Awkward.
- My preference is to worship quiet and still, but the person next to me is dancing, jumping and yelling. Awkward.
- The people on the stage sound like they are playing 2 different songs at the same time. I would rather listen to grinding brakes. Awkward.
- (Notice how many times the word preference appears above!!)
I am really thinking about worship a lot this week. I think that it is actually one of the opportunities/challenges on the horizon for us as a church and we need to talk candidly about it. I think that a lot of this dialogue is about personal experience and preference and not about worship. Let's call it what it is. The Bible says to worship in the midst of trial. Paul and Silas were worshiping at midnight in jail!! Hello!! A song style that we don't like certainly better not be a trial big enough to interrupt our worship to God for who He is! If so, we are really in trouble when REAL TRIALS strike. God doesn't stand a chance.
Before I start preaching...I think we need to explore questions like:
- How can such a DIVERSE congregation as ours have a worship experience/song service that is appealing to the most people's preference....so as inviting them into worship?
- How can we talk more openly so as to cut down on the feelings of awkward...which often come because we don't name things and do lots of quiet assuming?
- Do many of these churches have an idea? Should CCF consider a contemporary and traditional service model?
- How can we find more ways to teach people that worship is about much more than a music style, volume or church service. It is about how we do life! I think that Christians connect worship to music WAY MORE than they connect worship to life! God, help us with that.
This is getting long and I have lots more to say. Let me stop. More later. Any thoughts?