We've truly enjoyed the articles pertaining to "Insiders and outsiders" in The Lutheran magazine (February) and "Not so fast" (May). We believe, however, our discussions need to be focused around inclusion versus exclusion when it comes to worship styles.
What is it going to take to get our leaders to see that reaching the lost is not about contemporary or traditional worship? It's about change. But it's not about changing the message we preach. It's about changing the supporting elements in our worship experience that support our message of hope, grace, peace, love and faith.
When he first started out, Henry Ford sold cars in any color you wanted as long as it was black. Would Ford Motor Co. be in business today if it only sold black cars? Probably not. How many of our mainline denominations are growing? Is it safe to say that most of us have continued to do worship as usual?
We would never say we shouldn't have traditional worship — many of our people love it. But let's move into the 21st century by introducing audio and video equipment, movie clips and skits to reinforce our sermons. Play hymns that don't sound like funeral dirges or those that no one is familiar with. Encourage your organist to play with enthusiasm and bring other musical elements into the service to add variety and excitement into your worship experience.
There is so much to say on this topic, but the bottom line is this: If what you are doing is bringing more people to Jesus Christ, then keep doing it. If not, please go back to your congregation and discuss what needs to be done as the people of God to help others find and follow Jesus Christ. If it means challenging your organist, then do it. If it means introducing audio and video equipment or starting a new service, then do it. We exist to help people find and follow Jesus Christ. Our job isn't to change Jesus' message. Our job is to explore how we present his message in a world that is always changing around us.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers