When I talk about the need for a renewed worship, people respond with discussions of transitioning from "traditional music" (hymnal) to "contemporary music" (everything published after the hymnal). Or I hear statements like I did a couple of weeks ago with a group of pastors, when one pastor stated publicly, "I actually quit going to worship for a period of time before becoming a pastor. I mean, I understood why we worshiped but I just didn't have anything in common with the church people. But now that we have a "cowboy church" I just feel such a great sense of unity."
I have heard the same thing said about "skater church," "biker church," "smells and bells church," "robes and stoles church," "Skipbo church" etc. (you pick the niche). Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against cowboy hats (I have one hanging in my Dodge) or clerical collars (I have one hanging in my closet) the problem for me is that, as Christians, our unity and community should come not from our means of transportation or our apparel choices but the person of Christ and His table.
I am afraid that we have confused worship and evangelism, and in an effort to be culturally sensitive in our evangelistic efforts we have failed to be counter-cultural in our Worship Practices.
I am afraid that if we are not careful, even the more "liturgical forms of worship" (formal high church) will become just one more style of worship to be marketed to a consumer minded worshiper.
Sometimes I feel like giving up. Sometimes I want to surrender and just begin appealing to the largest market share of the population in my community, but then I find myself standing around the Lord's Table with people in our congregation that I seemingly have nothing in common with. They dress differently, they like different kinds of music, drive different kinds of cars, vote along different party lines, eat different kinds of food and some of them even speak a different language than me; but there we are, all together in community and unity, because of what Jesus did and has promised to do, and I can't help to rejoice and think, "you can't market this." This is something that only Jesus can do.
Is this something that anyone else struggles with/deals with? How can we communicate this danger with other pastors/leaders? Do we need to?
Am I just being hyper sensitive? I look forward to learning from your responses.