Traditional vs Contemporary Worship

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Berean, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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    I am a member of a medium size (1200 to 1500 sunday morning) SBC in a town of 75000 people our av adult age (18yrs and up) is 55 to 57 years of age. We have a pastor who is an exceptional preacher/teacher whos sermons are from the Word and he has a following of not only members of our church but many other believers from a 50 mile radius who drive in to get fed real meat not a 35 minute disertation on how to improve your self esteem or how to become more sucessful in winning friends and influnceing people. However our growth, Baptisms are about 4 or five a month. We have an unusually amount of people coming and leaving our congregation. IMO the high turnover is related primarily to the music that we do, Traditional with a chorus mixed in once in a while, what is referred to as blended. We seem to be losing our young cuples to the churchs who do CCM and gaining the older ones who come for the word, sort of a trade off. My question is are there any of you who have both a cont. service and a trad one and how is it working out. I know there are some SBC Churches that are even having three, cont, trad. and blended.
    I am 78 years old and naturally traditional is my preferance but I can accept the change without compromising on the Word
     
  2. freeatlast

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    I have been in churches that offer both kinds of services at different times and all I see is it gives the same division as does someone going to another church. You say that your church preaches the truth so If some people come to hear a style of music instead of the truth of the word then let them go.We are not called to keep people under certain Pastors or in certain churches.
    Also I would ask why you are concerned that people are leaving and going to other churches? I would understand if they were leaving and not going any place but if they go to another church why make it a concern? You are not suggesting that your church is the only one preaching truth are you?
     
    #2 freeatlast, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2012
  3. drfuss

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    A few years ago, our church went from traditional music to contemporary music for the supposed purpose of increasing attendance. The attendance has not increased, but many of the older people are unhappy. So in the service, only the younger people participate in the song service, because the contemporary music includes the loud drums and a beat that is hard to sing to for those who love traditional music. So those who really want contemporary music tend to find a church where everyone participates in the contemporary song service.

    We do not have a contemporary music service and a traditional music service. The problem I see with two types of service is who leads each service. If a contemporary music person leads the traditional service, his dislike for traditional music will be apparent and will tend to hinder the traditional service. If a traditional music person leads the song service, his dislike for the contemporary music will be apparent and will hinder the contemporary music service.

    Ideally, if you go to the two types of services, you should have different worship leaders for each type of service. Problems with this is that you may not be able to afford two worship leaders; there will be competition between the two types of services; and you will, in effect, have two separate churches. But this might be better that half the church being unhappy with the wordhip services.
     
  4. glfredrick

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    Let me go out on a limb here and say that neither truly exists.

    Each expression is a mere cultural expression from some point in time that was relevant during that time and is probably no longer relevant now.

    ALL services of worship were "contemporary" at one time.

    What I've found that happens is rather simple. People do a new thing --breath fresh wind from the Holy Spirit (and that does not have to mean woo-woo-spectacular gifts!) --and they begin reaching people for the Lord because of this new emphasis. Because it is currently working better than what was, this new technique or culture is codified into "the way we do things around here," and ever after it is THE only way. That is, until the next new culture breaks over the horizon and the whole thing starts over again.

    -- None of us can "do church" like the early chapters of Acts.

    -- None of us particularly wishes to "do church" like the Dark Ages.

    -- Some of us are still "doing church" the way that some of the Reformers did it.

    -- Some of us are "doing church" the way that some of the Sandy Creek Revival Movement (or Finney, et al) did church.

    -- Some of us are "doing church" in a new way that reflects the culture that we live with every day and meets the needs of the people whom we are reaching.

    Prayerfully, (PLEASE LORD! :praying:) ALL of us are "being the church" with non-negotiables surrounding the kerygma of Scripture, the whole counsel of the Word, all things in order, and honoring God with word, deed, action, and identity, no matter what else may be different culturally.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    True worship is neither traditional nor contemporary. It is a matter of the heart, yielded to God in spirit and truth. It often does not even involve music.

    Church music can be traditional (whatever that happens to mean - often it is used to refer to 1950s-style gospel songs) or contemporary (whatever that happens to mean - often it is the latest radio-friendly musical product).

    My general preference is older hymns (often a few hundred years old or more), with an occasional well-written more contemporary worship song. However we need to be gracious with each other and recognize that people are in different places in their lives.

    In our church, we have a blended style of worship, everything from a pipe organ playing high church anthems, to an orchestra, to a full choir to a praise band with guitars, electric bass, keyboards, and a drum kit. Our congregation ranges from newborn to well over 90, and everyone extends grace to each other. Frankly, I don't like much of the music, but that's okay since I'm not there for a concert. I'm there to worship, and I can do it accompanied by a praise band or a pipe organ.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    I'd say, for starters, that "worship" is not even (or just) music.

    Do we not "worship" when we take the offering, pray, preach, or even greet each other?

    While music style plays a role in all of that, the other elements are just as much worship, and some might say more so, than the musical part of the service.
     
  7. agedman

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    Personally I consider music is playing a far more important role than was ever intended by Scriptures.

    Call to worship - certainly.

    Hymn sung before "going out" (at the end) - certainly.

    But in between? hmmmmm

    Seems there are far more important matters for the assembly to attend rather than being emotionally enamored and psychologically manipulated by music.
     
  8. glfredrick

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    Let's not take this too far in the other direction. It could rightly be said that most of the theology and doctrine that "sticks" with the hearer is that sung. Martin Luther, John and Charles Wesley, King David, and many other famous hymn writers understood that concept very well and used it to the glory of God.

    Properly used -- tying in with the theme for worship for the day, including the sermon -- music can move the entire service to a new level, both in spiritual aspects and in the exercise of what has been taught as people go home with a tune they cannot extract whereby they sing the praises of God while they work until gathering again on the next Lord's Day.
     
  9. agedman

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    I've got no problem with singing that presents doctrinally sound words in understandably sung tunes.

    However, I see no benefit of the music being a time of "putting on a show" nor of even taking center stage.

    "They sung a hymn" shows the whole group was involved.

    If one is to use music in the worship, it must be "from the heart unto the Lord." It isn't a five word repeated phrase embellished by instrumentalists clanging away, singers adding ooh, aah, and melodic frills, and audiences swaying in delirium.

    Neither is it "high church" fugue that is little more than a war of the notes with the motif repeated like a woodpecker on the old oak tree.

    As far as "moving the service..." Why? Because it "feeds the crowd" what they want to hear? Makes them feel comfortable in the worship? Teases out the sensibility and retards the acuity?

    Paul preached so long one young lad fell out of the balcony - well what might be considered the balcony of his day.

    Perhaps the music was so exciting and energetic that it wore him out.
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    One of the challenges a lot of churches encounter is they bring in a more progressive style of music for their services and end up causing frustration because it doesn't lead to instant, sustainable growth. A primary reason is that just changing the style of music doesn't mean you're going to suddenly engage younger generations better.

    Your whole approach and method for the service must change. I know more than a few ministers who thought if they just put a band on stage, untucked their shirts and tossed in a video they suddenly became better connectors. That isn't the case. It requires a complete revamping of how you communicate and how you go about Sundays. The point is if you want to reach a younger crowd (which is generally why most churches begin to shift) you have to be ready to change your entire approach.

    The church where I serve uses a progressive style of music in our services. We are growing like crazy. One of the reasons, we believe, is because it isn't just our music style but our entire approach. We have change how we communicate in our services, how we engage people outside of them, how we provide effective environments for life changing moments to occur. The aesthetic matters to people under the age of 40. It is important to how you do stuff.

    Just throwing a band up on stage (which usually isn't very good) and having them play through a couple of choruses without giving them the resources they need isn't effective.
     
  11. glfredrick

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    Music, per se, is not what will cause a congregation to grow, no matter how formal, how sensitive, how current and upbeat, how whatever.

    What causes congregations to grow is gospel community, where living and sharing the gospel is what happens because of our identities in Christ.

    The musical expression that wraps around that gospel community can solidify it or drive it apart -- music has that power -- but it cannot create it.

    Same goes for "big event" evangelistic programs. The best one can hope for with them is to soften someone who is alienated to the gospel to the point where he or she may stop to at least listen. Even Billy Graham, who is THE master at big event evangelistic crusades, has only seen about a 2% harvest from those huge events. Mostly they are a lot of believers come out to see their hero in person, and a handful of curious on-lookers who may or may not come away with the gospel planted into their hearts. After all, God must do that, and God can do that with or without a huge event.

    I find that most do not understand the concept of "gospel community" and they are yet striving for "personal" spiritual growth. This is evident every time there is an altar call where the pastor calls for "every head bowed, every eye closed." Are we not to minister to our brothers and sisters? Are we not to pray for and edify each other? How do we do that if our brothers and sisters are doing their business in such a manner where no one else except the pastor (who is probably too overworked or over-golfed to do anything about them). Seems to me, if we were truly serious about the claims of the gospel and in relationships as presented in Scripture, we would get out of our "pew-centered" individualistic expressions of the gospel and into true community where we turn to each other and walk with our brothers and sisters until we arrive at our home in glory.

    I've seen "church" done both ways, and the gospel community is the most powerful and explosive expression of the gospel lived out loud I've ever seen. Of course, the ENTIRE AFFAIR would be considered "contemporary" to the extent that many, or even most, could not even see it as a normal expression of "church."
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    These are tremendous points, worth repeating.

    :thumbs:
     
  13. gb93433

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    You cannot make disciples with selfish people.

    A church's ability to grow is directly related to its ability to love.

    That has little to with CCM or Traditional music.
     

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