Liturgy as a key to church growth?

More on young adults rejecting the church growth approach to worship and craving liturgy.   I don’t mean to harp on this topic, so tomorrow I’ll post something that questions this new traditionalism in worship, which is not always accompanied by traditionalism in theology. [Read more...]

How a contemporary sees contemporary worship

Robert Burns prayed for the power “To see ourselves as others see us!” (To a  Louse). So I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings here.  But it is surely helpful for a church trying to be contemporary to see how actual contemporaries are responding to their efforts.

Matt Walsh, a young guy of the sort that churches are trying to reach, speculates that the reason Christianity is allegedly in decline, according to that Pew study, is that it has become so boring.  But, in his telling, the boredom comes from the proliferation of contemporary worship, which, he says, in the course of making fun of it, drains Christianity of its transcendence, substance, and seriousness. [Read more...]

Church growth tactics don’t work with Millennials

Rachel Held Evans was something of an evangelical renegade who left the church for awhile, only to come back recently as an Episcopalian.  In an op-ed piece, she explains that the church growth tactics that churches try to use to reach her Millennial generation just don’t work.  “Young people don’t simply want a better show,” she says.  “And trying to be cool might be making things worse.”

After the jump, a link and an excerpt to her piece, giving data to back up her claim.  But tomorrow we’ll post about what she says WILL make Christianity relevant to her generation. [Read more...]

Why a millennial Christian loves the liturgy

Rev. Erik Parker, who blogs at The Millennial Pastor, has written a thoughtful piece on why he and others of this millennial generation prizes liturgical worship.  He does not attack contemporary worship, and he writes in an irenic tone, summarizing the various attempts the church has made over the years to attract “the younger generation” and citing his own experience in and out of the church.  He then explains how and why “Liturgy can engage the young people.” [Read more...]

Liturgical evangelicals

Many Lutherans have pretty much abandoned the historic liturgy to embrace evangelical worship styles.  And yet now, many evangelicals are embracing the historic liturgy.  In fact, liturgy may be the latest thing in “contemporary” worship.  If you don’t believe that, read the article from Christianity Today that I link to after the jump.

[Read more...]

Charismatic sacrament, charismatic liturgy

Charismatic Christians consider “praise and worship songs” to be, in effect, sacramental, bringing worshippers into the presence of God.  So observes Matthew Sigler, who supports this tradition.  Furthermore, he says, the music and other features of contemporary worship, as the Charismatics devised it, unfolds in a specific sequence according to a theological model.  That is (in my words), it is liturgical.  Problems come, he says, when non-Charismatic Christians lift this music and these worship practices outside of their original context, borrowing them while leaving behind the theology and “pneumatology” that goes with them.

So worship implies a theology, and theology is embodied in worship.  And you can’t just mix and match.  It’s illuminating to hear this from a Charismatic perspective.  And it is both illuminating and ironic to hear an advocate of  contemporary worship (because of his Charismatic theology) agree with us advocates of traditional liturgy (because of our Lutheran theology).  The link and an excerpt after the jump. [Read more...]