purpose driven

35 Years of Massive Worship Changes!

Doug Lawrence offers a brief history of worship trends.

“Up through the ground came a bubblin’ crude…” Baby-boomer church, Seeker-driven church, Seeker-sensitive church, Purpose-driven church, Worship-evangelism church, Church of small groups, Cell church, Gen X church, Postmodern church, Missional church. Like Jed Clampett’s fortuitous “black gold” finding, the church’s life would never be the same…or?

Fellow blogger, Brian Jones, recently reminded me that we’ve been in a revolving door of change in the Evangelical church over the past long (short) 35 years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…or is there? We have been reformed and reforming, and reforming, and reforming…

Boomer Church

The Rolling Stones and sort of a “drug store” Elvis snuck in the backdoor of many churches 35 years ago. We called it “folk worship” to start, but it quickly became what we affectionately call “happy clappy” worship. It was fun and well meant, but never approached the actual zest of the Boomer culture—though it was kind of wicked to be doing it at church—of all places!

Seeker Driven (later, Seeker Sensitive) Church

We can thank our friends at Willow Creek for teaching us how to do this. Essentially it was Boomer Church with some drama mixed in…oh, and much cooler outfits and, thank heaven, a lot of original music played with a really hot band.

We learned that nobody (well, almost nobody) likes organs or choirs, because those things were dead and should have been buried long ago—we just needed to get on with it.

I thought it was cool.

Note: Even though Bill Hybels told us NOT to do it, we all went home from his conferences and tried to do “it” at our 100 year old institutions. Of course, everyone immediately accepted the change…NOT!

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