what is awe and respect in contemporary worship

Here at the National Worship Leader Conference 2011 in Kansas City this week. Facilitating a couple of workshops. Managing the NWLC mobile site. Moderating the live Twitter feed #nwlc11 powered by twubs.com. Great heart and spirit here. Good mix of older and younger generations. All are here eager to learn.

One lingering question on the back burner of my mind is about the expression of awe and reverence and respect for God in our approach to worship in today’s worship experience. Regarding musical instruments, for many churches and Christ-followers, worship music is commonly accompanied with keyboards and guitars and drums. A few may use an organ. A few may go a cappella sans musical instruments.

Many churches invite people to “come as they are” and in American culture it is okay to dress casual, t-shirt and shorts. The notion of wearing one’s “Sunday best” to attend a church worship service has probably passed its tipping point years ago, if we were to survey the 300K+ churches in the US. I personally love and enjoy being casual and informal. And, now that it’s summertime, we shed our layers of clothes as it’d be temperature appropriate. Where it gets hard for a red-blooded male like me is when certain kinds of clothing (or lack thereof) is very distracting. While churches don’t want to turn anyone away from encountering the grace of God, what can church leaders do, what’s a guy to do, when the fashion trends of the day, um, for a summer dress is, um, too little?

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5 Responses

  1. Roy Baum says:

    I agree with you 100%, DJ. I certainly have a preference to worship in “casual wear”, but the ladies can sometimes be “too” casual. A lot of us struggle with the continuous sexual temptation of American culture and media, and long for a place where the emphasis isn’t on “hey, look at me”.

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