What is “Contemporary Worship”? Is there even such a thing? Many of us have these questions and more. They are valid questions. Many of us come from traditional backgrounds and wonder sometimes why we do what we do in a Contemporary worship setting. I will begin by stating that it is not a question of which setting or experience is right or wrong. It is about you being able to express yourself and your relationship with God in a way that is comfortable and personal to you as an individual.
A “traditional setting” isn’t for everyone...
...a “contemporary setting” isn’t for everyone either.
At Central, we believe you should have the option and the choice of how you worship. That is the foundation as to why we offer both a traditional and a contemporary experience.
The Contemporary Worship Experience:
Allow me to start with the definition of the word “contemporary”:
“belonging to or occurring in the present.”
Simply put, “contemporary” worship/music service aligns itself with more of the style of music that is popular in whatever time you are living in. A Contemporary Service also brings with it more of a personal involvement in the worship experience. It is not about entertainment; it is about involvement.
Because of this involvement, a contemporary service many times has less “form” to it. Particular parts of the service are more flexible. Less time restraints. This type of service lends itself to allow for the Holy Spirit to lead as it will and express Himself differently than He would express Himself in a Traditional setting.
Again, not right or wrong, but a different expression.
Here at Central, we strive to offer an opportunity for you to worship God in a way that is relative to your relationship with Him.
If your preference is a “traditional style” with familiar and traditional hymns accompanied by a choir and organ, Central offers that for you. This lends itself to a more reverent time, if you will...a time where your involvement is more scripted...where there is specific instruction as to how to respond. A time of responsive reading or reciting the Apostles Creed; Central has that for you and is offered with a level of excellence second to none.
If your preference is to have a more “contemporary style” that includes a freedom of personal expression (as described below), accompanied by guitars, drums, keyboards and wind instruments, we have that as well. The music will be more in line with what is popular for the time, but also include psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as the scripture encourages in Ephesians 5:19.
There is scriptural basis that supports each setting and form of expression.
In this section, it is our goal to give you explanation and scriptural reference to help you understand the expressions represented in a Contemporary service, so that you can choose for yourself what is more conducive and relative to your relationship with God and give you the understanding of what is welcomed in this setting.
Here are just a few questions that you may have…. and scriptural refences for your understanding.
A note from Randy:
It is my hope and prayer that this information will help you understand our Contemporary worship experience here at Central, and further help you to build a lifestyle of worship.
Worship is a gift from Him that allows us a way to express our love and devotion to Him.
As your “Worship Leader”, my goal IS NOT to achieve some level of learned fanaticism that we see in a lot of settings. My goal IS to see anyone who attends here experience the life changing freedom in worshipping Him in their own individual way.
This is my heart. It is what I live for. I long to see God’s people totally uninhibited in worshipping Him. You see us on stage doing it now: Singing; Lifting our hands;. Crying; Smiling; Enjoying ourselves;. Bowing; Shouting; You can join with us.
Please, join with us. I want you to know that it is ok to stand, to sit, to raise your hands, to shout Hallelujah or thank You Jesus, to clap your hands, to laugh, to cry, to bow in reverence, to come to the altar area for prayer during worship even if it’s unsolicited.
Our worship is not for entertainment, it is for involvement.
Our music is not just for listening to, but for joining in and singing with us and being a part of the one voice that magnifies the King of Kings. The music is not merely songs to sing, but rather messages that are conveying our heart, our mind, our body and soul to the One that loves us unconditionally.
I encourage you…. once you experience FREEDOM in worship… you will never be the same.
As always, if you have further questions about this topic, please feel free to reach out to me.