by Bob Dasal<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Can Worship Styles Vary and Still Be Biblical
"Let Culture Determine Your Style of Worship" by Rick Warren (June 2001 issue) struck a nerve with Pulpit Helps readers. Letters received reflected some strong views. It would seem the saying about "what comes out of one person's mouth and goes into another person's ear is not the same" applies here. Our intent in printing the article didn't match the way some readers took it.
There's an old story about having roast for Sunday dinner that illustrates what can happen in a church if we're not careful.
One Sunday after dinner a husband complimented his wife on the wonderful meal. He asked her why she always cut one end off the roast. He had noticed that whenever she prepared a roast she always cut off and threw away two inches off the end.
Her reply was, "because that's the way my mother always prepared roasts."
The wife, thinking about her husband's question, decided to call her mother and find out why she always cut two inches off the end of the roast. Her mother's answer was "because that's the way my mother always did it."
The daughter's mother decided to call her mother and ask the same question. The simple reply was, "so it would fit in the pan." She had a good reason for cutting the two inches off, without intending to start a tradition.
We printed "Let Culture Determine Your Style of Worship" as a challenge to readers to think prayerfully about the methodology they use in their churches to reach out to their communities. We should go beyond doing it simply because others did it that way. It may be the way to do it, but knowing why it's done is essential for it to be meaningful and effective!
The church should continually question itself on why it does things a certain way. "Because that's the way we've always done it" is not a good answer. The gospel of Christ is unchangeable, but methods must adapt to needs and opportunities. In fact, we should continually and prayerfully looks for fresh ways to communicate the gospel. That was the message I received from Rick Warren's article.
If the article challenged readers to think deeper and pray more fervently over their worship services we accomplished our goal.
In this month's expanded Readers' Forum, our readers speak out. There are also editorial comments from us for clarification.
Bob Dasal is editor-in-chief of Pulpit Helps.