When it comes to modern worship, everyone has their own opinion. This isn’t necessarily wrong, in fact it’s a very natural part of our humanity. I’ll say it again, having opinions about the method or style of worship in your church is not a bad thing. It is good that we care about our worship experience enough to have preferences and opinions. This only becomes an issue when these opinions are the most important part of our Sunday morning experience, or otherwise hinder us from engaging in authentic communion with God.
It seems to me that more often than not, this problem goes deeper than surface level issues like music or attire, and finds root in the very joy of our hearts. As worshippers, our greatest joy should be found in God’s glory—not in comfort, fame, opinions, skills, or any other earthly thing. There is so much more at stake here than our own desires.
What would it look like if we belonged to a church body characterized by selfless worship? What if we sacrificed personal preferences in musical style, visual display, or any other number of issues, such that we created an environment where lost people could be found? Even if we found it difficult to engage with a certain style or method of worship, could we not celebrate that what is inconvenient or unpalatable to us might be the very thing that draws someone else into the freedom and joy of new life in Christ? We must as faithful followers of God do our best to get out of the way, so that He might use that space to work in the lives of those who need Him the most. To be sure, God will continue to move and work in spite of us—but what a privilege, what a divine act of worship to participate in the redemption and restoration of a lost soul.
And we should also be very careful to not limit this truth to one specific group of people. I’m not writing about the typical stereotypes of older people and rock music or younger people and hymnals, but about the very foundation of our worship as Christians. As followers of God our hearts should move naturally toward selflessness and humility.
Opinion and preference will always have their place in our hearts, and we should not pretend otherwise. But we can not loose sight of what is most important in the scope of eternity: the glory of our God and the growth of His kingdom here on earth.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:1-11