Pastor Gene Oburn, Loree Brethren
I had strongly held on to my traditional views regarding worship until I read Pastor Warren's article, "Let Culture Determine Your Style of Worship." [If] a high percentage (in the 80s) of church growth comes as a result of church membership transfer, we must take a serious look at our worship styles.
In the morning worship, we had sung "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." Along with other phrases which would be unfamiliar to the unchurched was the phrase, "Here I raise mine Ebenezer." That evening at the board meeting, I asked those present if they knew what an Ebenezer was. No response. I pointed out to them that we are expecting the unchurched to understand phrases we don't even comprehend.
If people within our churches are fighting change because it is the way we have always done it, find another argument. How many still drive horse and buggies and sing in their services without accompaniment? The message hasn't changed, but the method of delivery has. Rick Warren's concern is to get into the church and make comfortable, those who have had no experience with a worship service. Not too long ago, we could have said, "Everyone knows a little about church." That is no longer the situation.
I don't believe we need to conform to the contemporary worship style of any particular church. We don't have to give up what is comfortable to us. Add a new service. The bottom line is to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ as many as we can.