Last week, a speaker said that these terms to describe worship should no longer be used.
These words bring about a point of contention and possibly deep resentment.
Besides, what exactly does contemporary or traditional really mean?
He argued that there are two, and only two types of worship: Relevant and Irrelevant.
“Traditional” worship may be relevant to the older members of the congregation, but completely irrelevant to the younger generation, and therefore they may be seeing younger generations become scarce in their congregation.
Do you agree the idea that there are only two types of worship and it’s not traditional or contemporary, but relevant and irrelevant?
3 thoughts on “Contemporary vs. Traditional”
Pulling a phrase from Outler regarding baptism, “All baptism is infant baptism, and all baptism is adult baptism” and turning it to worship, “All worship is contemporary worship, and all worship is traditional worship”. It is contemporary because it is happening right now. It is traditional because it is the tradition of this community, and it is the tradition of the church to worship in the style that fits it.
Therefore, yes, we do need to consider how it is relevant to the community at worship, examining how we might be more relevant, even if it means clearing up the meaning behind doing what we “have always done”.
The difficulty is in a diverse congregation, when for some it is relevant to others it is not. Sometimes it is hard to convince some that it was not all about them that Sunday! Again, it is an art of staying in touch with the Holy Spirit, and preaching from the heart and soul.
At one extreme, worship can be very private and very personal. At the other extreme, worship can be in public, but still very personal. Worship then, ranges from private to public. While some may worship only in church, they are surely missing the point.
BTW, is your private style of worship traditional or contemporary? And if so, does God really care? Is your public style of worship contemporary or traditional? And if so, does God really care?
I believe that worship is about how you and God relate. I don’t see why the style of the relationship matters as long as the relationship exists. People who are uncomfortable with a particular style of public worship should have the courage to find someplace where they can learn to relate to God.
I also believe you will never please everyone. But if you demonstrate your sincerity and your faith, you will help them to find theirs.