The Great Worship Awakening: Singing a New Song in the Postmodern Church


Robb Redman

Central Theme
Worship is undergoing a radical transformation in the American church and those navigating the new terrain are helped by a roadmap explaining the new developments affecting the landscape.

After reminding us that the first murder in the Bible was over worship (Cain and Abel), Redman leads us on an adventurous “flyover “ of four new ways American Christians worship: the seeker service, the praise and worship movement, the contemporary worship ministry/industry, and the liturgical resurgence. He then looks at other trends affecting worship today: ethnicity, generational styles, a postmodern worldview and popular culture. Redman then offers practical and theological advice for those called on to lead a worship awakening in their own church setting.

Beliefs num
–Seeker services have their historical roots in Finney and Moody and have been influenced by the church growth movement.
–Seeker services are criticized for focusing on the target audience more than God, blurring lines between worship and evangelism and for favoring performance over participation.
–Praise and worship has its historical roots in john Wesley, the holiness movement, Aimee Semple McPherson, Pentecostalism and today in the Vineyard.
–The Praise and Worship movement often fails to distinguish between praise and worship.
–The contemporary worship movement operates on a parallel track to the church, offering worship experience independent of the church.
–It is often criticized for being a business and for operating without the blessing and authority of the church,
–There is a resurgence of liturgical worship.
–Today’s worship is influenced by: the ethnic diversity of our culture, generational shifts in music styles, postmodernism and by popular culture.
–Leading a transformation in worship requires clear theological direction.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Can church worship satisfy a highly diverse group of people?
–Do most people attending church agree on the purpose of worship?
–Does any one worship style satisfy or is a blend needed?
–Can the younger generation worship with the older and vice versa?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Critics of seeker services complain that they are more focused on a target audience than on God. The service does not preserve the centrality of God in worship and the integrity of Christian truth in the preaching.
–Critics point out that because of its deep roots on revivalism, aided recently by the church growth movement, the seeker service movement is bound to confuse the relationship between worship and evangelism.
–Another sign of the confusion about worship is the growing belief among laity (and even some pastors and worship leaders that a seeker event is a worship service.
–Edith Blumhofer says that McPherson ¢â‚¬Ëœrepresented a style that gained increasing favor among Pentecostals, a style which features one or more performing stars.’
–The Vineyard model uses five distinct phases or movements in free-flowing praise: invitation, engagement, exaltation, adoration, and intimacy.
–The neo-Pentecostal approach is likewise a five-stage process, drawing on an understanding of worship in the ancient Jewish tabernacle and temple; ¢â‚¬Ëœoutside the camp,’ ¢â‚¬Ëœ’through the gates with thanksgiving,’ ¢â‚¬Ëœinto his courts with praise,’ ¢â‚¬Ëœonto the holy place,’ ¢â‚¬Ëœin the holy of holies.’
–So what is so remarkable about the Contemporary Worship Movement? For one thing, the origins of CWM and its main producers are outside the orbit of most Protestants. CWM comes from a world other than that of denominational agencies and publishers, and it is the product of a commercial production ¢â‚¬Ëœculture,’ that is, a network of songwriters, artists, producers, publishers and distributors.
–¢â‚¬ËœConformity produces legalism, performance-based acceptability, and stunted, uninspired imaginations. It is a conformity that breeds apathy and complacency. Wherever there is an abundance of this type of conformity, there is little chance for diverse, faithful, and imaginative business, music and ministry.’
==Charlie Peacock.
–The postmodern view of truth is both radically subjective and radically relative.

Posted in Books, Staublog in August 20, 2002 by | No Comments »

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