You know what I’m talking about. Stages upstaging altars, “praise leaders” replacing ministers, bands in the front instead of organs in the back, etc. The Contemporary Worship, or ‘CoWo,’ movement has sparked a pan-denominational debate in just about every Christian denomination over the past few decades.
Supporters say its necessary to get young people interested in the church, while detractors point out its apparent lack of substance and alienation of those who “don’t rock.”
So is CoWo effective in bringing people to church? At what cost? And on a deeper level, does how we worship affect how we believe (Lex orandi, lex credendi and all that)?
I came across an article which raises some great critical points. I’d love to read your thoughts!
I grew up listening to contemporary Christian music. I’ve still got the Michael W. Smith cassette tapes to prove it. For a Baptist homeschooler, there was really no other option, it seemed. Our church was also contemporary, but in the late 80s and early 90s, that meant we sang little choruses, a few early CCM songs (think Keith Green, Maranatha, that sort of thing) and some gospel hymn medleys, not the stuff we heard on the radio. That’s not the case anymore. While there may not be complete overlap, there is virtually no difference between “church” music and “radio” music.
I’m not sure that’s a good thing.