As a church with a variety of expressions of worship, I’ve often hear people state that ‘theirs is the right way to worship.’ Is there a right way of worship? Is it with drums and guitars or with organ? Is it without music or without sermon? Is the right way in a building or outside in nature?
Many debates center on these, among many other, questions. And people have great passion about why they think their expression of worship is the right, or true, way of worship. Since the one they like is suiting their needs, it must be right for all people. Yet the prescribed idea of worship isn’t bounded by our styles. Simply put, all of our expressions of worship in 2019 would be quite odd for the early church! They hadn’t learned Amazing Grace, heard a pipe organ, jammed with a guitar, gathered in a sanctuary, or even read the New Testament! They simply shared life, prayed, ate and dwelled in gratitude (Acts 2)!
My point is this, styles are always changing. As culture shifts, we seek fresh ways to express our thanks and love of God. We gather to find language to attach to our experience and to experience something that leads us into the depth of the holy now. Adaption in worship isn’t irreverent; rather, it is faithfully seeking sacred space for the Spirit to enliven the gathered community!
Whenever we settle on the petty debates of whose church, worship style or even faith tradition is the right one, we cease being reverent and instead take up the cause of how ‘I’m better/more faithful/true than you.” Simply, this is the ego (both individual and corporate) leading us. And as we have heard, ego stands for “Edging God Out.” We gather to offer space for reverence to rise, for worship to touch our souls and to be inspired to be present to God and our world!