Friday, November 29, 2013

Different Styles, Same Point

Since stepping down from pastoral ministry last year, I've had plenty of opportunities to worship in different settings.

Some Sundays I worshipped at traditional, liturgical churches.  To be specific, I visited Methodist and Lutheran congregations.  The dress was more formal, so I wore a coat and tie.  There was a good bit of responsive readings, candles, robes, organs, and choirs.  It was really reverent and special.

Other Sundays I worshipped at more contemporary churches.  To be specific, I visited Southern Baptist and non-denominational churches.  The dress was more casual, so I wore nice jeans and a polo shirt.  The music was led by a praise band and technology was used to enhance the experience for everyone (PowerPoint, videos, etc.).  It was very liberating and passion-filled.

As I reflect on this past year with these two different styles of worship, I think the following:

1) I could easily worship with either style.  My focus was on connecting with Jesus, so the musical style just did not matter too much to me.  I was fine either way.  All that mattered to me (and still matters now) was having a meaningful encounter with God.  

2) I saw that there was room enough in God's kingdom for different styles of worship.  Some services were more old school, and some were more modern.  But all glorified God, encouraged worshippers, and made a positive impact.  No style was superior or better than the others.  They all had various ways of accomplishing the same thing.

Different people worship God in different ways.  And that's ok.  As long it's carried out in the name of Jesus, and done with respect and sincerity, I've become fully convinced that either style is just fine.

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