In Terms of Marketing...
Since at least the mid 1980′s the use of labels when it comes to worship has been, for me, a bit of an issue. I understand that this is a market(ing) driven time in human history, and that any “defining” term as it is applied to worship, is, at root, supposed to function as a means to identify “this” worship from “that” worship (however you define this and that…). But (and I’m not a Biblical scholar here) at least since Cain and Abel, this issue of “proper”/”correct”/”right” worship has been separating people from each other, and from God. What bothers me is the implication that [insert label here] worship is [choose better/worse] than [insert label here] worship.
But whose perspective? Who decided that “mine” is [bigger/better/more correct/emotionally more satisfying/fill in your own adjectives here] than yours? Isn’t that just, at bottom, a high school popularity contest again? Justification in the name of personal preference has been a huge issue for humans over the course of recorded history. Will we ever learn?
I’m not going to play “duelling Scriptures” here, but the principle of “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” seems to me to apply. I know what I like, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered that it is (ideally) not about me and what I like. It is also not about what the largest giver, or senior pastor, or church down the street likes either. It is about bringing the congregation I serve into the presence of the living God, and often that happens in spite of what I’ve thought or planned.
God works in mysterious ways. And, sometimes, it seems to me that we aren’t silent (or patient) enough to let the Holy Spirit do the work. We work ourselves into a frenzy trying to create the perfect worship service…and many times that “perfect” service is defined by “what’s working at the bigger church I think we should pay attention to” (insert your favorite seven deadly sin here).
The older I get, the more I find myself listening rather than trying to “sell” when it comes to worship.
[an aside...I have a relative who is so completely passionate about their favorite cause that conversation is regularly difficult. I admire this person's passion, but I get tired of hearing that I am (thinking/doing/believing/acting/voting/spending/living) wrong. It gets old. Not only does this person not give me credit for a brain, they don't give me credit for a heart...and it is primarily a result of not stopping for breath to give me an opportunity to speak...or them to listen...]
I think that comparative is destructive.
It is a common tool in the toolbox of the advertiser…used to set “my” green apple apart from “their” green apple.
But certainly the God of all creation is not a “product” that needs to, every 6 months, be “new and improved” in order to be relevant.
I’m just saying…