I read a funny thing the other day on Twitter - I can’t find who originally wrote it sadly - where someone said that most evangelical worship is a Coldplay concert with a TED talk. I did giggle at that because it is a little bit true.
I remember watching a video called Sunday’s Coming which is a comical parody of evangelical churches with concert-like worship and cheesy preaching - it is hilarious because it exaggerated weird Christian stuff. However, I will never forget my jaw literally dropping when I attended a church in the USA where the worship and sermon was exactly like “Sunday’s Coming.” I was like, “Wow, people really do worship this way!”
I am quite comfortable in both liturgical worship and in contemporary charismatic worship. But I do wonder if many churches, not just in America, but elsewhere too, need to consider adding some kind of liturgical order to their services to give them more depth and substance. Rather than focus on the visual performance and emotional pull, maybe we need something that resources the wider Christian tradition even as it aspires to be contemporary and experientially enriching.
In fact, just today, I met an Anglican priest who said that he left his Independent Chinese congregation to become Anglican because Anglican worship has a wonderful liturgy that is filled with Scripture, is overtly Trinitarian, and is also missional.
Several simple things can be done to dig down deep into the tradition to enrich contemporary worship styles with liturgical resources.