Choosing your worship style.
The above photo is from a youth convention in 2001... and yes, that is yours truly with the ponytail.
One of the biggest battles within Christian congregations is "worship style." Now, one on the outside looking in, may be wondering, "Battles? Isn't there enough going on in the world to not be having battles amongst yourselves?" One would think so... wouldn't one. Never the less, this is an issue that has caused major fights between people who have chosen to continue the mission of Jesus (yes, that was a loaded statement; read it again if you like).
To some people, style is everything. To others, the One being worshiped is everything. To others, they just show up out of routine or duty.
Most people in emerging generations understand that the word worship has been taken out of context, and that it really has more to do with how you live day in and day out than what songs you sing or what rituals you partake in once or twice a week (more or less). The "worship wars" of these past few years have really nothing to do with worship, and everything to do with style.
Some prefer to sing the same good ol' songs from a hymn book week after week, and they have their favorites (but you better not preach a sermon more than once no matter how much they like it). Some prefer to sing songs which are current, as in written and made popular in just the past few years, and they also have their favorites (and again, be careful about preaching a sermon twice to these folks too). Some prefer to stand, lift their hands, clap, and maybe even... dance *gasp*. Some prefer to sit... and sometimes kneel. Some prefer that there be no annoying singing so that we can hurry up and get the preaching over with. Some prefer to sleep 'till noon, crack open a beer, and watch the game on tv (yes, I am still talking about worship styles).
A sweet lady in our congregation said to me a while back, "Pastor, I don't really like the way our music program is being done lately." My reply was, "Neither do I." As our conversation continued, I attempted to make it plain that while she wanted to sit during every song, which would come only from the hymn book... and completely without bass and drums... that I wanted to be on my feet, jumping for joy, dancing to every song, which would only come from contemporary artists... and completely without the organ. She prefers a funeral; I prefer a rock concert. And we're obviously meeting somewhere in the middle.
It's not about me, is it? Isn't it about the One being worshipped? How have we gotten so far off track?