Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Contemporvant Worship

A friend of mine sent this to me. He's been working on his Masters in Church Music at Concordia University, Mequon WI. I got mine in 1997 from Concordia University, Chicago, IL. Every time I see something like this, it makes me think about a class I took in Contemporary Issues in Church Music during my MCM work. At that time (1997) it was the beginning of the Praise and Worship Band era in the LC-MS. It was filtering in from non-denominational mega-churches. Today, we see it from place-to-place in the WELS. Everytime you hear the phrase "contemporary worship," ask yourself the question, like a good Lutheran, "What does this mean?", because it means something different to everyone who says it depending on their background.

This video is an extreme, albeit humerous example. Unfortunately, this is what I think a lot of people think contemporary worship is, or should become. I hope not. There is a lot to be said for doing Lutheran liturgical worship well:

  • the musicians and pastors planning each service so well that the the same message is preached from the balcony by the choirs, instrumentalists, and organist as the pastor preaches from the pulpit and lectern,
  • that message is evident to all worshippers as they are worshiping, and
  • it is memorable enough that they can tell someone else who was not there what worship was about that week.

There also is a lot to be said for remaining true to the heritage of the Lutheran Church, reclaiming who we are, boldly proclaiming what it means to be Lutheran, and not experimenting with whom we are not.

Can you tell which side of the argument I'm on?

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.


  1. This video must be making the rounds. Here's a similar post linking this video from

  2. Some call it contemporary. Some call it relevant. We call it contemporvent.

    This is the song that everybody knows... this is the song that everybody knows...

    This is the song that nobody knows... this is the song that nobody knows... Its on my new CD, you can buy it after the service...

    That sequence plays out at many secular concerts as well!