I recently embarked on a major research project for a new resource I will soon be offering. Part of my research included a long review of thousands of comments made on this site over the past few years. Though my research had another purpose, I became intrigued by the comments related to church traditions.
Of course, by “traditions,” I am referring to those extra-biblical customs that become a way of life for many congregations. A tradition is neither inherently good nor bad. Its value or its distraction in a given church really depends on how members treat the traditions.
With that in mind, I began noting the most frequently defended traditions in churches. As a corollary, these traditions can also be a potential source of divisiveness. They are ranked here according to the frequency of the comments.
- Worship and music style. Though I have noted elsewhere that this issue is not as pervasive as it once was, it is still number one.
- Order of worship service. Thou shalt not change any items in the order of worship.
- Times of worship service(s). The first three most frequently defended traditions are related to worship services.
- Role of the pastor. The pastor is to be omnipresent and omniscient. Many church members have clear expectations of what “their” pastor should do.
- Committee structure. Many congregations continue committee structures long after their usefulness has waned.
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