Have Church Your Way: The High Cost of the Worship Wars

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 with a solution: two services, each with it’s own “worship style.”

It sounded great, and sure enough, there were some results. The emotional intensity simmered.

But it’s cost us in the end.


I read the article.

My own perception, from an Australian perspective, and as a person who has never really been involved in “evangelical” churches, is that what’s happening in many of the US mega churches owes its origin to the American genius for marketing.

I can even see this in ordinary magazines. As a general rule, if I pick up a magazine edited in the US, and another on a similar topic edited in Britain, the American magazine will be full of advertisements. Sure, the other magazine will have them as well, but the chances are they’ll be fewer in number, and there’ll be more literary meat in the middle.

As far as I’m concerned, the main thing is to do what we do well, whether it’s liturgy and worship, preaching, fellowship or caring for others, and then trust God to make the difference.

But while there’s this constant experimental marketing to try to appeal to all tastes and budgets, the core message is watered down.

We can’t be lazy in our relationships. Families are breaking down because no one wants to put forth the energy to nurture the relationships. So, too, are spiritual relationships with God breaking down because no one wants to put forth the energy. It’s not just music at Mass, but personal prayer, volunteering as a catechist, helping with parish outreach.

Don’t forget the lazy outsourcing of raising kids in the faith to weekly catechists.

Although I love the Catholic Liturgy, and believe its heaven on earth, I can find no fault in un formatted worship of our Lord…I think Sunday’s Mass Readings support that thought.

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