As a young and immature Christian I did not think very highly of traditional church services. I saw them as cold, regimented, and limiting God’s work to a mere service. As maturity came, I changed my view. I have attended what is known as contemporary services most of the time. I liked them because of the sense of freedom they provided. For instance, if the pastor felt like the most of the congregation was not really worshiping God, he could easily at the end of the song address the issue and the band could play again with the congregation refocused. 

Of course I have matured since then. I have attended several churches that my Methodist friends go to that are quite traditional. My prejudices were removed when the word of God was clearly preached and when I found that the reasoning for the structuring of the services were motivated by purity and dedication to God, not regimentation. This isn’t to say that there aren’t churches with traditional services out there that are not like this, but to classify all of them in this manner is a childish mistake. Likewise, I still greatly enjoy many of the things within contemporary services, but I have noticed weaknesses as well. The atmosphere in some churches can be made to seem too relaxed: this sort of thing makes people take the message less seriously. 

What is the factor that unites good churches, whether they have traditional or contemporary services? In my honest opinion, it is the Biblical and pure motivation for the the way they carry out ministry. If a church with a contemporary service truly loves God and it shows, the atmosphere will not be so lax that the laity doesn’t take what the pastor says seriously. If a church with a traditional service truly loves God, the structured service will seem alive like a living thing, not cold and uncaring like machinery.

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