I am probably showing my age even by using the term "look like" (it's so 90's); but our church has a new pastor who wants to upgrade the contemporary-ness of our contemporary service (we also have a "traditional" service which will get some freshening up).
We've been here two years, following a longer tenure by a young man who got the contemporary service going. We've got a good group of gentle people who express themselves gently; but we manage to do the "contemporary" things (or the "rural/southern" things) like clapping, occasionally raising a hand and even five seconds of praise-shouting after a particularly powerful song. We're Pentecostal, but we see no need to force these people to be something they aren't; but they do appreciate a powerful "experience" while worship God through music.
We're forming a music committee, to more easily share ideas, even planning out worship services in the future. In the past, I've been accustomed to extended worship which includes personal prayer, dancing, flags and banners, stopping for a mini-sermon, altar call, and so on. I found much good in those things (except for the occasional "spiritual hijacking" by an overenthusiastic individual); but I really don't know what directions we might want to go in this new committee adventure.
They, of course, will bring in their own ideas. But I'm curious as to what a spectrum of various churches, in contemporary-style worship, are doing, other than just putting up songs on a screen and singing (or is that all we should be doing?) What do some of your services, either normal ones or the "special" ones, look like these days, ad what value do you find in this appearance?
Liturgy is a curious thing, and I've come to the conclusion that pretty much all churches have one, whether self-developed or taken verbatim from some guy who died >400 years ago. It's worth asking yourself if you have an expectation of how the meeting will generally progress, and if so, then you probably have a liturgy, even if it doesn't prescribe that specific songs or reading are used at specific points. You might also call it a framework (as I do) on which you make space for the Holy Spirit to arrange the events that make up the meeting.
We have a quite clear liturgy that is pretty much unbreakable (so needs breaking, at the right time in the right way) that only provides a modest amount of freedom. Our previous church would be much less structured, and if it seemed right for the worship to continue (for example) then it would.
Freedom is wonderful, and people often handle it very well if they know where the boundaries are, however they often get scared/fearful if they can't 'see' the edges or limits. It requires training and learning to see where the Spirit places boundaries for us, and it requires that we take personal responsibility for what we do instead of relying on the rules to keep us safe.
I think each church develops its own worship style, according to a blend of the personal traditions and leanings of its members and pastors. If we have a little intentionality towards general era of style, we call it "contemporary" or "Baptist" or "liberal" or some other name, so that it might attract people we are capable of reaching. There are so many ways of doing things in this world, the term "contemporary" is close to meaningless (a sentence I don't throw around loosely, because it really irks Contemporites). (The same with the phrase, "Traditional Contemporary worship). But God loves our quirky, stilted worship if it comes from a heart that loves Him, and loves those who don't necessarily love us. He really doesn't love us any more if we tune our guitars.
Tuning is so easy to do, doesn't take much time, and gets everybody on the right track. Curious -- every school choir and community theatre I've worked with warms up (my wife has about forty-five different fun warmups that also tell her reams about vocal condition on that particular day); yet I've never worked with a praise team or community choir that warmed up. I wonder why?
Pretty good explanation, I'd say. Technological society has finally given us the "Revenge of the Nerds" - the enjoyment of the projects from those squeaky-clean precision-oriented white-rooms, and the high quality of today's fast food has made us honor preparation and conscientiousness in general.
We do have a lot of the Han Solo fly-it-by-the-seat-of-my-pants spirit in our country, too. It may have something to do with throwing off the yoke of those stiff, starchy Redcoats two hundred years ago. It may have something to do with a communal memory of those German piano teachers that slapped the knuckles of four generations of American kids who were taught the unwritten lesson that rigid precision is classical music was somehow superior to the enjoyment of a git'ar on a sunny afternoon. There are ,millions who have suffered music, even in our generation, under torture teachers who didn't know how to teach music, so they used their only available measuring stick, precision, because it's always easy to point out something that is wrong.
Methinks you have said it quite rightly.
IT is my experience that for the most part the peoplewho are against preparedness are not good players and no amount of preparedness can save them.
In my experience also, true.
Glory, glory, glory!
I like your band; I feel the joy. The background on the screen -- are those mountains in your region? I'm interested in what others do for worship slides -- I mostly take pictures myself and add special-interest things from the Internet.