Faith Beyond Fads
We have a lot of well-intentioned trends that begin in order to shake up complacency, but then the new trend becomes complacent and it’s off to a new one. In the mean time, the seeker and cynic are left in the dust. I’ve been listening to a lot of conversation about traditional, contemporary, and emerging worship. An unspoken benchmark of success in many churches now is whether or not they have a contemporary service. It doesn’t have to be a good service; it just needs to be there. But, why? Why does every youth group have to have a Taize worship service this year? The funny thing is that in all of our effort to buy into these trends, we burn out and the trend never takes. Meanwhile, both churched and unchurched souls riddle the ground—people hurt by the trend-seeking. Things like change and experimentation are not bad, but you must be sure that the why of the change is led by the Lord.The full text of the article is worth a read for the story of his own collision with fads at age nine.
If you are looking for a church and you haven’t found the right fit or if you are in a church and you are unhappy, I invite you to seek Jesus in your discontent. It may be that your community of believers has deviated from worshipping God and has tried to fill the gap with an exciting new adventure. It may be that you have deviated from true worship and you are trying to fill the void. Only God can fill that empty space.
If God is the same yesterday, today and forever, why do we follow trends? As someone who uses PowerPoint and other multimedia with some fluency, I hope that it isn't about being trendy. I think Jim's point "you must be sure that the why of the change is led by the Lord" is one to take very seriously.
Pulpits, pews and pipe organs were all innovations at one time. We don't have to enshrine one way of worshipping God. But neither should we enshrine change and following fads. Right?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church
PS: Jim Morrow's blog is The Greatest Story Ever Told.