“So is your church traditional or contemporary?” Wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that question. It seems as though style has the become the determining factor in the spiritual decision-making of the modern American when it comes to finding a church. This question and this issue has been swirling for the last several decades. But with the strong current of gospel-centered churches and leaders taking root, perhaps we will begin to see this in our rear-view mirrors.
When I first believed the gospel and began to engage in the local church I was bombarded with this issue of worship style. It was the hot-button topic for those closest to me. I was 20, in college and the generational divide in my church was Grand Canyon-esque. Not to mention the fact that our youth ministry seemed to offer an alternative style of worship to that of “Big church” almost intentionally.
Sadly, this whole issue of worship style creating division was built into the culture of the church. But the problem as I saw it then and see it now had to do with the power of the gospel rather than the importance of our preferences. The gospel of Jesus Christ was not a point of interest or concern in this debate, but it should be the foundation of every discussion within the life of the church.
In recent years however, we have been overwhelmed with strong voices crying for the church to see the gospel of Christ as the centerpiece for every discussion within the church. One of those voices recently lead his congregation to tear down the wall of division over worship styles and he chronicled that decision for all to see, but it was not free from backlash.
Take a look at Pastor Tullian Tchividjian’s recent series of posts on how the gospel of Christ brought unity to a decades old divide.