The style barrier

Contemporary style worship. Blended services. Traditional services complete with hymns and organ (and maybe a little liturgy). I'll admit, when it comes to the style of worship that I prefer in a church I have my own opinion. But do we put so much emphasis on style that we forget that people need Jesus?

Here's where I'm coming from. As I was driving home this morning from taking my daughter to school I was paying attention to the drivers who were going the other way in the opposite lane. I was studying their faces (while paying attention to the road at the same time) and as they passed my heart became very burdened for them - did they know Jesus? They were driving in all different kinds of vehicles - trucks, BMW's, sedans, clunkers - and it struck me that no matter what style or make of car they drove, the needed Jesus in their lives. Their choice of vehicle could not be a barrier to the work that God wants to do in their hearts.

Back to worship style. Do churches focus so much on presenting a certain style that it becomes a barrier to reaching people for Jesus? Shouldn't someone be able to hear the gospel and be introduced to Jesus in a church with a pipe organ and formal hymns just as much as he would in a church that meets in the YMCA that uses only acoustic guitars? Just how much should style dominate our churches?

There really isn't an easy answer to that last question because there's nothing wrong with preferring a certain style of worship if it the most effective means by which you connect with God. I just worry that maybe our preferences - and our battles - for a certain style of worship get in the way of the bigger picture, and that's seeing people come to Christ.

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