Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Contemporvant"!

This is pretty great (h-t Above Every Name).


Now that's Growtivation!

(It's kind of funny. I put this in the queue last week. Since then, it's all over the place. A couple of you have mentioned it to me. You've probably already seen it! But here it is, in case you don't get out much. In which case, thanks for making this your one-stop Intrawebs shop.)

28 comments:

Zaphon said...

I saw it here first, but skipped it. But I actually looked at it when Phil Johnson tweetted about it. Figured there must be something about it since more people are talking about it. Fascinating satire of contemporary/Emergent-type worship.

SolaMommy said...

How ironic that this is how the majority of evangelical churches seek to structure themselves and yet they all claim to be onto something unique. In the meantime, just TRY to find a traditional church that sings hymns along with the piano and organ and doesn't attempt to manipulate people through their emotions. :-O Turns out the "old" way is the unique way these days.

Steven R. Robertson said...

See? Still pausing.

JackW said...

I, for one, think that the old ways are just as bad as the new ways. But, to put it in a better way, I think that the new ways are just as good as the old ways. It’s a both oars in the water instead of one over the other, thank you Phil Johnson. There is so much good stuff out there that we don’t need to be distracted by the bad stuff, new or old. What is needed is better training of those entrusted with being lead worshipers in the church. That includes elders, musicians, readers of the word, those who lead in prayer and anyone else who contributes to the corporate worship of our Lord and Savior.

mike said...

at the risk of going who knows where,

JackW,
what would this training look like?
what would be the benifit?
who would be the recipiant?

Rudy said...

Well said Jack. There could be videos made to poke fun at the stiff-board, dispassionate, traditionalists. I think this video is funny and every church should be able to laugh at themselves a little. The church (whatever style or medium of worship) should be passionate about their leaders being pure, righteous, and loving.

mike said...

JackW said-
There is so much good stuff out there that we don’t need to be distracted by the bad stuff, new or old.

and that is true... but... i will contend that there is so much bad out there, mixed liberally with high volumes of valueless banality, that many if not most, seldon experience that good that you speak of.

mike said...

Rudy,
we have been poking at the church for all my life.

what would be amazing would be if Grace Community made a video making fun of churches that take the study of the word of God too seriously. that is what makes this video stand out.

this was not someone who is outside of a position throwing rocks into the windows, this was made by North Point, a church that has a reputation of being a lot like the video.

Fred Butler said...

what would be amazing would be if Grace Community made a video making fun of churches that take the study of the word of God too seriously.

Oh, believe me. As a 15 year plus member of Grace, there are plenty of things we could poke fun at.

JackW said...

Mike, those are good questions. Just briefly I would say that it would probably look different depending on the church, which is where it probably should be done. At our church we have started by doing a study of Bob Kauflin’s book, Worship Matters. I commend it to you.

mike said...

I am not familiar with that book, i will look into it.

as for the video, I have far too much experience with that very model of church-like activity.

we have more than enough ventures in this world that exist only to pander to our wants and extravagances, the church should never be another.


We, even once redeemed, are much of the problem, we need desperately to be called to the worship and sanctification of God, FROM the wants and desires of our humanity.

mike said...

Fred,
even the best families have reason to cringe at reunion time:)

Herding Grasshoppers said...

(Jaw drops...)

We don't get out much, I guess. But I can tell you, that was pretty much the EXACT format of a church we visited last month (attending a friend's baptism), right down to the t-shirt.

"high volumes of valueless banality"... could've been the title of the video. And I assume you meant quantity when you said high volumes, but that could also speak to the sound.

I'm continually amazed at the assault by decibels. Kind of like the bar mentality, "If it's really loud, everyone thinks they're having a good time!"

Ack.

Warren said...

What confuses me most about this video is that it was put out by Northpoint church which probably epitomizes this type of worship service. It even mocked Andy Stanley sitting at a table on stage preaching. Is this some sort of public confession / repentance, or do they not see themselves this way?

Pilgrim Mommy said...

Oh my. We visited a church like this - a little lower on the coolness meter, but still very similar.

The "New Song" left out the words, "This is written in a key that is tailored to my unique vocal range, so even if you wanted to learn the song, you wouldn't be able to sing it."

lee n. field said...

"just TRY to find a traditional church that sings hymns along with the piano and organ and doesn't attempt to manipulate people through their emotions."

"Traditional" can be just as manipulative.

Framing it as "'traditional' vs. 'contemporary'" isn't even framing the question right. In my own humble opinion, insert standard disclaimer here.

What informs worship? What do you think worship is, what do you think should be done, and why? I wonder if the average evangelical church even asks these questions. "Trad" or "contemporary", it's usually just whatever someone gets in his head to do.

Al said...

hypJackW said, "I, for one, think that the old ways are just as bad as the new ways. But, to put it in a better way, I think that the new ways are just as good as the old ways."

I find it interesting that most modern evangelicals use the term "old ways" to mean "the way they did it 100 year ago."

It reminds me of an anecdote told by Sinclair Ferguson. He relates that on a tour of a city in the South he was told that the house they were entering was very old. “It is an Antebellum Home”, she said. Sinclair asked, "Which war?" His host looked aghast and said the War Between the States of course. She seemed offended.

He begged her forgiveness and explained to her that he went to work every day in a building that was 400 years older than the house they were standing in. Very old had a different meaning to Sinclair.

So Jack, how old are we talking? Any Psalm singing or chanting at your Church? :-)

al sends

mike said...

lee,
i think it means electric guitar or acoustic.

exactly what portion of worship should be pleasing to the humans in the group?

Al said...

Traditional" can be just as manipulative.

If the liturgy moves you to worship is that manipulative? Assuming you mean manipulative in a bad way...

al sends

SolaMommy said...

Question: Does "worship" only refer to singing? I was under the impression that prayer, the Lord's Table, and listening to the preaching of God's Word also qualify as "worship."

SolaMommy said...

Whoa...Dan's post on Pyro today has a lot to do with this post!

*brain explodes*

Joshua Seevers said...

That's a good point. What does classify worship? Is it right for me to follow the traditional or contemporary?

Are these questions much like the question "How do I hear God speaking to me" or "Is God calling you today?"

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.5 (Rom 12:1)

Would this classify as worship or is it more the human worship we are trying to figure out? Does it please God that I sing along to a fast paced song accompanied by an electric guitar or is better for me to sing along to a slow paced song accompanied by an organ?

Rachael Starke said...

You would post two good posts on a day when I'm up to my eyeballs in house projects and can't in good conscience get into a comment war while my kids are drowning in laundry. :)

But in no particular order...

At our church, the Kauflin book is mandatory reading for anyone who wants to join our (hide your eyes, SolaMommy ;) ) worship team, or who expresses "concern" over either how sedate or how unholily noisy our worship is.

And I was a member of GCC for about the same lengh of time as Fred, but have been gone for also that same amount of time (wow, I'm old). Every time I go back to visit, about once a year or so, I...(chosing words carefully)...note how very little has changed. I'd be so in on that video Fred. I even remember a guy who used to do a pitch-perfect impression of Clayton Erb (legendary GCC music man).

I loved that video. But when I found out the guys that made it are in a church that "do" worship exactly like that, it did make my brain hurt just a little. Are they just chuckling with zero self-awareness? Is this a not-so-subtle attempt at subversion?? Not sure.

And I'd love do to know what the good Dr. David Regier thinks.

Veronica @ A Quiet Heart said...

So, I must be living under a rock, because this is the first time I've seen this...

Funny, in a sad-but-true way.

Sir Aaron said...

The video really is a satire of most seeker sensitive churches. The point of the service isn't to worship but also to entertain, as it designed for the "unchurched" who otherwise, would not attend church. I was often told that the Sunday service was so you could bring your "unchurched" neighbor or friend but Wednesdays were for regular attenders or members. The Sunday Service was designed after a demographic analysis of the area was completed showing what it would take for an unchurched person to attend church. There was even a typical family with expected demographic profile data. For example, the husband was "Chino Hills Charlie." He wore a suit to work and wanted to dress casually at chuch, have a one hour service with contemporary music, and a sermon which addresssed perceived needs (e.g., sex in marriage, dealing with your boss).

My current church would be described as traditional and there has been some discussion on what music/performances we could legitimately have (such as choir performance). I've always felt that our primary emphasis on worship should be to glorify God. It doesn't matter if we use drums or sing hymns. I just think that singing hymns tends to glorify God more than the worship in the video because (1) everyone can and is expected to participate (2) hymns have rich history and theology rather than mere repititive choruses (3) can be used even with no instruments.

VcdeChagn said...

Question: Does "worship" only refer to singing? I was under the impression that prayer, the Lord's Table, and listening to the preaching of God's Word also qualify as "worship."

This is my biggest pet peeve, and I still do it from time to time. I'm not really sure why people call the song portion of a service "Worship."

From John MacArthur's book on Pastoral Ministry

Much that transpires in the church today under the name “worship” is unacceptable to God. Scripture has at least four categories of false worship. God has designed worship to be honor and adoration directed to Himself. It has outward, inward, and upward dimensions and touches every area of a Christian’s life in doing good, sharing with others, and praising God. It is the basis for his behavior and his ministry. The church needs to return to the basic essence of true worship and not be distracted by activities that are void of honor and adoration of God.

James Joyce said...

I was just thinking that in another generation today's contemporary will become yesterday's traditional.

Brad Williams said...

My two cents are that this video made me nauseous.

It makes me thankful that we doing boring responsive readings of the Scriptures and that we recite our covenant on occassion. We should throw in the Nicene Creed just to show off.

:)