Traditional vs Modern Churches
Church attendance means different things to different people. There are social
benefits as well as spiritual ones. You might enjoy the company of a small but intimate
congregation or you might like being part of a large crowd. You may prefer a solemn
and sacred atmosphere or a loud and emotional setting. Some choose to worship in a
traditional way while others favor a modern approach. If you live in a large metropolitan
area, you'll have your choice of churches. That may not be the case in a smaller town.
It can be argued that the point of going to church is to learn and pass on
the traditional knowledge of our forefathers. We should change by going to church,
church should not change for us. The central message, the Good News of what Jesus
has done for us, has not changed in 2000 years and will remain the same forever. The
very act of performing traditional rituals connects us with many past generations
of church-goers, and reminds us of God's steadfast love for us. This does not change
with every passing fad or fashion.
While a substantial part of attending a church is to learn about God and what He has
done, it is also important to join with others to worship and thank God for all that
He has done in our lives. There are many ways to worship. Different people
express their love of the Lord in different ways. It is equally valid to worship quietly
with bowed head as it is to sing out with loud voices and clapping.
A problem arises when too many people decide to try something new and leave their
traditional church for a mega-church or modern worship center. Being a member of
a church entails a long term commitment to the others in your congregation. Those
who taught and encouraged you when you were young may need your social services in
their advanced years. Of course, you have the right to worship wherever you choose,
but consider the effect your choices will have on the entire group before you make
a switch. The article that we present below will provide some things to think about,
when deciding where you would like to attend church.
Crosswalk.com, a for-profit religious corporation
dedicated to building up the Church, which is the Body of Christ, has an article
about a new study that shows that there has been a significant increase in contemporary
worship styles in America's Protestant churches.
Next-Wave, a web site on Church and culture,
has a viewpoint
article about traditional and mega-churches and culture.
ChristianTuner.com is a complete source
for finding and listening to Christian radio and Christian TV stations, programs,
on demand content, Christian MP3 music downloads, and Podcasts. Here, you can find
links to internet sites that play Gospel - traditional music as well as Modern Worship
The Focus on the Family web site has an article
about how Church attendance affects parenting. They report on, and link to, the
National study on Youth and Religion.
The Christian Courier, an online magazine,
has an article discussing
whether Church attendance is a requirement.
For more information on Traditional and Modern Churches,
we recommend the following books:
The Purpose-Driven Church
Every church is driven by something. Tradition, finances, programs, personalities,
events, seekers, and even buildings can each be the controlling force in a church.
But Rick Warren believers that in order for a church to be healthy if must become
a purpose-driven church by Jesus. Now the founding pastor of Saddleback Church shares
a proven five-part strategy that will enable your church to grow. . .- Warmer through
fellowship - Deeper through discipleship - Stronger through worship - Broader through
ministry - Larger through evangelism. Discover the same practical insights and principles
for growing a healthy church that Rick has taught in seminars to over 22,000 pastors
and church leaders from sixty denominations and forty-two countries. The Purpose-Driven
Church® shifts the focus away from church building programs to emphasizing a people-building
process. Warren says, "If you will concentrate on building people, God will build
Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God
We are a Generation of consumers, independent and critical. We attend church, but
we don't want to settle down and truly invest ourselves. We're not into commitment-we
only want to date the church. Is this what God wants for us? Stop Dating the Church
reminds us that faith was never meant to be a solo pursuit. The church is the place
God grows us, encourages us, and uses us best. Loving Jesus Christ involves a passionate
commitment to His church-around the world and down the street. We can't be apathetic.
It's time to fall in love with the family of God.
The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations
The seeker-sensitive movement revolutionized the way we did church and introduced
countless baby boomers to Jesus. Yet trends show that today's post-Christian generations
are not responding like the generations before them. As we enter a new cultural era,
what do worship services look like that are connecting with the hearts of emerging
generations? How do preaching, leadership, evangelism, spiritual formation, and, most
of all, how we even think of "church" need to change? The Emerging Church goes beyond
just theory and gets into very practical ways of assisting you in your local church
circumstances. There is no one right way, no model for us all to emulate. But there
is something better. Dan Kimball calls it "Vintage Christianity": a refreshing return
to an unapologetically sacred, raw, historical, and Jesus-focused missional ministry.
Emerging Worship: Creating Worship Gatherings for New Generations
Where are the 18- to 35-year-olds? Why isn't the church engaging them? What about
our current forms of worship isn't resonating with this group? If the church is to
regain relevance with and connect to our rapidly, radically changing culture, it must
pioneer new forms of worship and trailblaze alternative worship services for those
growing up in this post-Christian age. In his previous book, The Emerging Church,
author Dan Kimball discussed the holistic changes needed in our Christian communities
as this new millennium unfolds. In his newest effort, Emerging Worship: Creating Worship
Gathering for New Generations, Kimball ups the ante, focusing specifically on the
steps church leaders can take when creating multisensory workship gatherings to reach
these young generations.
our exclusive Feature Article:
A Shuttered Church on Every Corner: The hidden
cost of modern worship centers.
by Michael Pollick 7/8/05
Modern society has developed a love/hate relationship with tradition, and many of
our most treasured mainstream churches are paying the ultimate price for it. The proliferation
of mega-churches and youth-oriented modern worship centers have created a rift between
the traditions and values of the churches on Main Street and the sound and fury of
the mega-churches on the edge of town. As younger parents continue their exodus from
the traditional churches of their childhoods, many of our sacred hymns, traditions
and community-building rituals are slowly being lost over time. Meanwhile, the congregations
who maintain their traditionalism are slowly graying out, with a dwindling pool of
younger congregants to fill the void.
Many people value a particular sports team because it has a tradition of winning seasons
or recruiting skilled players. Institutions such as colleges and universities are
routinely praised for their adherence to traditional values or maintenance of age-old
rituals. We expect our own hometowns to remain much the same as when we were children,
with only the slightest hint of keeping up with the times. In many other human endeavors,
tradition and a respect for history is seen as essential. Seemingly, this reverence
doesn't extend into the most sacred institution of all, the universal Church.
Proponents of modern worship centers often use traditional church hymns or rituals
as examples of an inherent stodginess or resistance to change. Restless adolescents
and young adults hear this message and begin to feel stifled in the very same church
they've attended for years. The result is a slippery slope of reduced enrollment,
reduced contributions and an undeserved reputation for inflexibility.
Modern worship centers which feature youth-oriented services often tap into the same
energy employed by secular musicians and actors. The music at a modern youth service
is supercharged, easily learned and practically interchangeable with secular songs.
Traditional hymns are viewed as dirge-like or uninspiring, which means they are rarely
if ever performed in modern worship services. The underlying difficulty with only
utilizing a pop music mentality is the relatively short lifespan of popular music.
Older members of a modern church may remember such 'contemporary Christian' artists
as Michael Card, Amy Grant and the duo DeGarmo and Key. These artists were extremely
popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The music they wrote and performed still
has relevancy today. But these songs, recorded only twenty-five years ago, are no
longer part of the modern worship music repertoire. The majority of today's youth
would not be familiar with any of their music. In five or ten years, the entire menu
of modern praise and worship music may turn over yet again, leaving another generation
feeling disenfranchised from the modern style of worship. By comparison, traditional
hymns of the church have survived intact for hundreds of years and will continue to
be performed for hundreds more, if the traditional mainstream churches can weather
the loss of membership.
It has been said that children under the age of 12 attend (traditional) church because
they have no other choice, and those over the age of 50 return to church because they
did have a choice. It's the congregants between those ages who are most often targeted
by non-denominational worship centers and program-driven mega-churches. There is no
doubt that many traditional church services can become routine and stifling at times.
A blind adherence to ritual can lead to a lifeless, uninspired church atmosphere.
But the solution to that particular problem is not to abandon the traditions and values
of the church for what may appear to be greener pastures. Many who have decided to
attend a modern worship center discover that the non-traditions and non-rituals can
become less and less inspirational over time. The highly emotional sermons and pulsing
worship songs can be just as draining as a long-winded traditional sermon or hymn.
Congregations at modern worship centers are often homogenous in nature. Few regular
members are over the age of 50, causing many younger members to miss out on the wisdom
and guidance of the elderly.
Some traditional churches, in a desperate bid to bolster membership, have turned to
the style of worship called a 'mixed service'. Traditional hymns may be replaced by
modern praise and worship songs, while electrified instruments augment the piano and
organ. Pastors in a mixed service may develop a hybrid style of preaching which appeals
to younger members. While the idea of a mixed service may sound like an acceptable
compromise, many traditional churches are discovering that it is indeed nothing more
than a compromise.
Older congregants feel alienated by the modern worship songs, while younger members
are still frustrated by a service different from the ones they've encountered elsewhere.
The impetus for mixed services in a traditional church almost always comes from younger
members who visit modern worship centers and want the same style of service at home.
This puts many traditional churches in a true bind: accommodating one vocal element
of the congregation may completely alienate another. The results may lead directly
to a rift in the church, leading to an exodus to established modern worship centers
Larger traditional churches may be able to withstand the occasional loss of younger
members, but smaller mainstream churches often cannot maintain essential services
without the contributions of working-age members. As these smaller churches continue
to 'gray out', the appeal of modern worship centers nibbles away at the potential
membership pool in the community. Membership drives and revivals may become increasingly
less productive for smaller traditional churches. While mega-churches and modern worship
centers enjoy record growth and the problems of expansion, many traditional churches
have been forced to shutter their doors and merge with other congregations for survival.
But many of the worshippers at modern nondenominational churches are beginning to
have families of their own and, ironically, are seeking out churches with traditions
similar to the ones they enjoyed as children.
The lasting assurances of Christian traditions and soul-fulfilling rituals can be
powerful indeed, as long as people remain open to them and resist the temptation to
abandon their home church for a temporary rush of adrenaline.
Take a Cruise!
Need a Vacation? Take a Cruise! How would you like to learn all about the fun you could have on a cruise? No
one knows more about a cruise vacation than a travel agent who specializes in cruises!
You will learn all there is to know about taking a cruise when you get in touch with
Marsha. She will help you dsicover things you can not find out online and she
will make sure you get the best possible cruise experience at the best price!
Please read our article about taking a cruise. Then call Marsha at 704-469-9048.
Buy a 3D TV!
Looking for a new Flat Screen TV? Read our review of the Visio 42 inch 3D Television written by a woman who owns one! Read about the clarity of the display, the 3D aspects of the set, accessories, internet ability, sound and gaming suitability. If you are looking for a new TV, this might be the one for you! In any case, you'll learn about features that are now available in the latest models of flat screen 3D TVs!
Like the Twilight Saga? Read Etude!
There is a new Young Adult book series that lovers of the Twilight Saga will probably
enjoy as well. Etude has a similar theme and similar characters. Both
are about teen girls who meet and fall in love with immortal guys. What things
about Etude are the same as Twilight and what are different? Please read our
interesting review of Etude, the first book in the Birthright Legacy series.
It provides an insightful analysis of how Etude is the same as Twilight and how Etude
is different from Twilight!
What can Middle Earth say about Real Earth? Have you read or seen the Lord Of The Rings books / movies? The Hobbit is a book that has the same kinds of characters, themes and settings but came out first.
Read our article on the upcoming Hobbit movie. The author talks about the themes in The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings, and presents the idea that they can be viewed as a commentary on the Environment!
Get A Date!
Online Dating First Impression! If you are one of the many people who have joined online dating sites, or if you are thinking of joining an online dating site, then you will need to make a good first impression with a perfect
profile! Whether you already have a profile for an online dating site, or are thinking of making a profile for an online dating site, read our Perfect Profile article for helpful tips! What makes a great online dating profile? Please read our article on How to Write the Perfect Profile for an Online Dating Site and learn how to attract the perfect person for you!