Worship in a changing world
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Worship in a Changing World. Source: Robert Webber, Worship First conference [email protected] Worship Changes in 20 th Century. Traditional. Contemporary. Postmodern . 190019601990. 9 Traditions, 1900-1960. Liturgical Reformed Anabaptist Quaker Restitution Revivalism

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Worship in a Changing World

Source: Robert Webber, Worship First conference

[email protected]


Worship Changes in 20th Century

Traditional

Contemporary

Postmodern

190019601990


9 Traditions, 1900-1960

  • Liturgical

  • Reformed

  • Anabaptist

  • Quaker

  • Restitution

  • Revivalism

  • Soul Worship

  • Pentecostal

  • Holiness


Three Characteristics of Traditional Worship

  • 1. Print-oriented.

  • 2. Predictable.

  • 3. Isolationist.


Two Worship Renewal Movements Now Talking

Catholic Renewal – Mainline Renewal

Blended 1990

Pentecostal 1906Praise/Worship 1965

Charismatic 1940s


Key Contemporary Flashpoints

  • Bill and Gloria Gaither, 1960s

    • Music revolution in U.S.

  • Jesus People (1970s)

    •  Maranatha music

  • A new move out of isolationism (today)


Convergence

Liturgicaland charismatic worship are moving out of isolationism and into conversation

Catholic/Liturgical

Restore a biblical theology and structure of worship

Pentecostal / Liturgical / Praise

Restore the immediacy of the Spirit in worship

Shift into Postmodern Worship


From “answers” to “experience”

  • People no longer come into town looking for the best preaching, but the best worship

  • They don’t want “evidence that demands a verdict,” but an encounter with the living God


7 Characteristics of New Postmodern Worshipers

  • Ready to commit.

  • Spiritual but not religious.

  • Nostalgic for the past.

  • Long for connection.

  • Attracted to mystery and ambiguity.

  • Participatory joiners.

  • Audio-visual learners.

Bonhoeffer

Anti-institutional

Taize, Iona, Greek Orthodox

Chat room

Aware of complexity, seeking wisdom (not answers)

Don’t want worship done to them

Beyond talking head


Love/Hate2001 Survey of Wheaton students

  • 91% negative: “entertainment worship”

    • Worship done “to me”

      • beyond “excellence”

    • Presentational

    • Whether traditional or contemporary

  • 98% positive: “encounter with God”

    • Depth and substance


  • 5 Characteristics of Postmodern Worship

    • 1. Authentic

    • 2. Spiritually engaging

    • 3. Participatory

    • 4. Visual/Oral

    • 5. Contemplative


    The Conflicts

    • Recently: The “Booster” vs. the “Boomer”

      • Worship wars

  • Coming: the “Boomer” versus the “20-something”

    • Won’t be a fight, because 20s are surfers, not fighters


  • A theological hypothesis …

    • If worship is a function of mission …

    • … then the forms of worship will change as cultures change

    • … even as the object of worship remains unchanging and eternal!


    A question …

    • How does worship in your church need to change in order to help people in your culture connect with the God of Jesus Christ?


    Worship in a Changing World

    Dr. John P. Chandler

    The Ray and Ann Spence Network for Congrgational Leadership

    www.rasnet.org

    [email protected]

    Copy right John P. Chandler, 2001


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