Today my husband and I went to the contemporary worship service at our church. He enjoys going to the contemporary service when he is at church by himself. We are usually traditional sanctuary service attendees. I enjoy contemporary Christian music, I just don't usually experience it at church.
I had such a wonderful time today! The service was so warm and open. Yes the music was contemporary, but the praise band was so genuine and worked so hard on their music, you can't help but love it. I bounced to the beat and sang along with every song. Our minister is so in touch with the congregation. He too is a genuine person. You feel like you're really having a conversation with him. While I truly enjoy and crave the "high church" practices--liturgy, candles, choir, crucifix, etc., there was something so familiar and earnest in the contemporary service that isn't present in the traditional service.
While we were listening to the sermon all of a sudden I had a vision of the Sermon on the Mount. I pondered how this service was similar to that congregation Jesus preached to. All kinds of people were there to listen to him--Jews, Gentiles, old, young, men, women, children. In our service, children were everywhere. The attendees were so wide and varied--people in jeans, people in suits, college kids, toddlers, white, black, hispanic, old, young, men, women, people with special needs, people with physical handicaps. We had a true cross section of the city at church! I thought, this is what Jesus wanted. He wanted the barriers to the gospel to be gone. He wanted all to be welcome. He wanted us to come together for the distinct purpose of learning and praising and worshipping together. The message of the minister was clear. It wasn't sugar coated. It was serious. And yet, the message was delivered in a way that felt so accessible. I was just overwhelmed.
I probably won't give up going to the traditional service. I love the traditional service. I was raised in it. I'm comfortable in it. But I will start going to the contemporary service more often. I think there is a place for me at both types of worship. I have different needs on different Sundays. I feel like worshipping differently depending on the kind of week I've had. Sometimes I want to cut loose and sing and sway and sometimes I want to open that hymnal and sing the old songs I love so well.
I think that God meets us where we are every day not just on Sundays. But on Sunday mornings, I think He's in both services. I think He hears both services. I think He wants us to worship in all kinds of ways. I am so blessed to be a part of a church that recognizes and affirms the diversity of Holy Spirit in its members and visitors.