I’ve had some interesting discussions lately about the difference between worship and performance. It started lately when I visited a number of churches with both a “traditional” service and a “contemporary” service – which made for an interesting comparison between services. Honestly, I enjoy both. Having grown up in a traditional church in the South, I know every hymn in the book and love a good traditional worship service. But I’m also a rock music fan and love contemporary music.
Darlene and Mark Zschech are great friends, and good, contemporary worship music is great. I’m the Executive Producer of the concert feature film “Let Hope Rise” about worship band Hillsong United. But I noticed one interesting thing: In a traditional service, everyone knows the hymns and sings along. But in most contemporary services, I’m finding very few people in the congregation participate.
So what happened to the “worship” part? I’m finding in more and more contemporary churches – the worship aspect of the service has become a performance. Excellent music and musicians to be sure, but the audience isn’t participating at all.
Is anyone else noticing? Rather than being invited into the worship experience, the music leaders are just performing and there’s something important being lost. After all, we can attend a concert anywhere, but in my experience the point of the music service is to invite the participation of the congregation. Making it a “corporate” experience is what makes it unique.
Anyone have any thoughts on that?