April 21, 2022

I get comments like this all the time. The article misses the main point. In the big picture, the question is where is our heart at when worshiping and much less about form. Talking about the “heart” this way is a common trope in discussions about worship, particularly when questions of form and style arise. Usually, it’s intended to give carte blanche for anything anyone ever wants to do in corporate worship. After all, if someone is worshiping from the... Read more

February 21, 2022

Jon Graham Daker, son, brother, faithful Christian, and accidental internet star, reportedly passed away yesterday, February 20, 2022, in Peoria, Illinois. Born in 1939, he was 82 years old. For most of you, he needs no introduction. If you’re new to the internet, let me tell you how the world came to know Jon Daker. Peoria resident Reva Singley Cooper Unsicker taught voice, piano, and organ lessons for some six decades until her death in 1995 at the age of... Read more

January 21, 2022

I know you’re tired. Run down. Sad. Fed up. Angry, even. I don’t blame you one bit.  I know the deep paucity you feel in your bones. The worst possible Sunday afternoon tragedy used to be a dry pot roast. Now you go home, exhausted from the noise, bothered by the blatant emotional manipulation, haunted by the poverty you see. You’ve gone home angry and annoyed. You’ve wept over what they’ve done with your church, with THE church. You know... Read more

January 12, 2022

The Cult of Cafeteria Worship I’m terrified that catering to individual aesthetic preferences in worship is killing the church. And by aesthetic preferences, I could mean a lot of different things, but at the top of list is music. Before I explain myself further, I must admit that I’m being overly simplistic. The cultural factors contributing to church decline are complicated and diverse. But because the church has responded to decline with drastic liturgical adjustments, we must look at the... Read more

January 11, 2022

There’s a term that people like to throw around at church when they talk about worship. “That was so meaningful.” “I got a lot out of that sermon. It was meaningful.” “That anthem was so touching; it was meaningful to me.” “That church’s services are so meaningful.” ”We should design worship in a way so that it is meaningful for as many people as possible.” It works the other way, too. “Nothing that happened today was particularly meaningful for me, but... Read more

January 9, 2022

After fighting the worship wars for a generation, evangelical churches first tried something they called “blended” worship (I used to make people mad by calling it “lukewarm worship”), which wasn’t the REAL blended worship as much as it was an ad hoc order of service usually including hymn/chorus medleys. In the end, nobody was any happier, usually because the medleys were weird and the enmeshment of organ and praise band even weirder. It magnified the disunity. Larger churches came up... Read more

January 8, 2022

Them: I like traditional worship, but I’ve got kids, so, you know… Me: No, I don’t. What do you mean? Them: Well…I’ve got to have them in contemporary worship. Me: Oh. Why? Them: (With increasing annoyance) Well…you know…they’re kids! I must have had this conversation a thousand times. These are parents, who usually for the most honorable of reasons believe that they need to put their kids in contemporary worship. After all, it’s easy, it seems relevant, and it doesn’t... Read more

January 7, 2022

A guest post by Miguel Ruiz. I can’t help but think I am not alone in my story, even if my journey has some unique twists. I grew up in the non-denominational tradition. For us, worship was the six songs we sang before the sermon, and the two after. We were encouraged to participate enthusiastically, to pour out our love for God in song. It was just assumed that, of course, we arrived every Sunday with a hopper full of... Read more

January 6, 2022

A guest post from Michael Dodaro. “Dignified Protestants now say that truth is relative. Evangelicals only allow that it is relative to current top-40 music charts.” In 2005, Mike Dodaro began writing about worship and liturgy at his blog, Alienated in Church. The result is a treasury of honest, straightforward, and lucid arguments that the extremes of the American church are tragically lost. Here is one of my favorite posts of his. I encourage you to read more of his... Read more

January 5, 2022

It’s true that with enough money and marketing you can attract people, at least for a time. The continued persistence of the megachurch movement is evidence of this. But what is missed in their numbers is the farce of the whole thing. The complete and total disconnect with the history of the church. The shows they produce and claim to be “worship.” The nearly constant turnover in the bulk of their numbers. The way their constant pursuit of relevance has... Read more

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