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11. Dear Traditional Worshipers

I know you’re there. I know there are many, many of you out there, no matter what others say. I know how you feel. Writing this blog has shown me just how many of you there are. All ages, races, denominations, who believe wholeheartedly in the historical, liturgical pattern of worship.

10. Don’t Take Your Kids to a Megachurch: An Open Letter to Andy Stanley

Dear Andy,

Let me tell you a little of my story.

I don’t set foot in many megachurches these days. I’ve actually been in your church twice. I normally wouldn’t have, but, well, there was this girl. Not the fiery Methodist woman who is my wife and the love of my life, but this other girl who sometimes attended, whose family had been members of your dad’s church, until, well, you know the story…

Andy, I grew up in one of those big ol’ megachurches you’re talking about, and it taught me to hate church. I would have left in high school if I’d had the option, but in my house, attendance at my cool, hip, contemporary-worshiping, youth-group-glorifying, moralism-preaching, theology-eschewing McCongregation was a non-negotiable.

9. 9 Reasons to Keep the Church Choir Alive

I’m always a bit frustrated when I see articles like this one from Cathy Lynn Grossman on the Religion News Service, entitled Many church choirs are dying. Here’s why. They never tell the whole story. It’s accurate that many churches have traded the traditional choir for a more contemporary ensemble in their services. I don’t think we can argue with that. But what the article doesn’t say is that there are many churches in which the choral art still grows and flourishes.

8. Killing the Church with Sunday School

Over the past few decades, in a largely futile attempt to re-engage the growing segment of non-church attenders, churches have drifted increasingly toward a model of separating parents and children on Sunday mornings. Usually, this model offers a one-hour commitment, sending the adults to a worship service with contemporary music and a self-help, teaching-style sermon, and corralling the kids in Sunday School, where they sing hyperactive “kid-friendly” music to a recorded track, do hands-on activities, and listen to a quick lesson on their own learning level. After an hour of separation, everyone goes home and gets on with their lives. Of course, there are many other factors at work, which Wright acknowledges, but we’re not doing ourselves any favors.

7. 8 Reasons the Worship Industry Is Killing Worship

Over the past few decades, in a largely futile attempt to re-engage the growing segment of non-church attenders, churches have drifted increasingly toward a model of separating parents and children on Sunday mornings. Usually, this model offers a one-hour commitment, sending the adults to a worship service with contemporary music and a self-help, teaching-style sermon, and corralling the kids in Sunday School, where they sing hyperactive “kid-friendly” music to a recorded track, do hands-on activities, and listen to a quick lesson on their own learning level. After an hour of separation, everyone goes home and gets on with their lives. Of course, there are many other factors at work, which Wright acknowledges, but we’re not doing ourselves any favors.

6. 3 Reasons Contemporary Worship IS Declining, and What We Can Do to Help the Church Move On

Over the past few decades, in a largely futile attempt to re-engage the growing segment of non-church attenders, churches have drifted increasingly toward a model of separating parents and children on Sunday mornings. Usually, this model offers a one-hour commitment, sending the adults to a worship service with contemporary music and a self-help, teaching-style sermon, and corralling the kids in Sunday School, where they sing hyperactive “kid-friendly” music to a recorded track, do hands-on activities, and listen to a quick lesson on their own learning level. After an hour of separation, everyone goes home and gets on with their lives. Of course, there are many other factors at work, which Wright acknowledges, but we’re not doing ourselves any favors.

5. It’s Time to Boycott the Worship Industry

Christian culture’s boycotts rarely do any good. They generally make us look arrogant, aloof, and disconnected, all the while increasing publicity for whoever we’re all riled up about.

Anyone remember the Southern Baptists and their bizarre Disney obsession about 20 years ago?

No, those kind of boycotts are generally not a good idea.

But I think it may be time for a different kind of boycott. Not against corporations and organizations that, like Disney, couldn’t care less what we think.

It’s time for us to boycott an industry that cares very much what the whole church thinks. We’re their only hope of staying afloat.

It’s time to boycott the worship industry.

4.Dear Church: An Open Letter from One of Those Millennials You Can’t Figure Out

A lot’s been made over the millennial generation and their religious life. Why they go to church. Why they don’t go to church. What they want. What they hate. I’m going to do something different here. I’m not going to cite Barna. I’m not going to quote Rachel Held Evans. I’m not going to link to any articles or blog posts. I’m just going to tell you what’s true for me, and what I’ve seen to be true of others like me.

3. 10 Worship Songs We Should Stop Singing

Congregational singing is a privilege; it’s also sacred duty, a discipline, part of the work of the people. As the so-called worship industry has tightened its choke-hold on church music over the past decades, there has been an explosion of new, commercially marketable music that has infiltrated and taken over. While we should always be looking for good new songs for our congregations to sing, we have to be increasingly careful, as well, since we’re now more apt to get our hymnody from generic commercial sources than denominationally vetted collections.

2. Why WOULD Anyone Sing in Church These Days

Why don’t people sing in church anymore?

A quick trip down Google’s memory lane reveals that the internet has been talking about this regularly since at least 2012. And everyone seems to know why.

Nobody knows the songs.

Singing makes men uncomfortable.

It’s just a performance.

We don’t love Jesus enough.

There is truth to some of these points, but the longer I think about this problem, the more I’m convinced we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of figuring out why people aren’t singing, we need to turn around, look at ourselves, and ask, “Why would they sing?”

1. 15 Reasons We Should Still Be Using Hymnals

Unfortunately, many churches have trashed their hymnals, but I think they are important symbols for worshiping congregations. Here are some of the reasons why.