I’ve never really been an innovator. I’ve never found myself asking “what’s the next big thing?” But a recent article has changed that.
CNN reported this morning that somewhere between 100-200 Kmart and Sears stores will be closing due to abysmal holiday sales. Apparently, most shoppers are taking their business to online stores such as Amazon or Ebay, where customers don’t have to pay sales tax.
At one point in time, Sears looked untouchable. They were the mainstay department store in every mall. We all assumed that they would be around forever. But that’s not the case anymore.
Because their method of delivery is stuck in an old way of life where people actually shopped at stores. Now, the preferred method of delivery is through online retailers who will ship any product to your doorstep without you having to get off the couch. What was once a mainstay in American culture is now on the decline. Can you see where I’m going with this?
Throughout the 80s and 90s, we saw multiple reports of “traditional” churches closing their doors. The more contemporary churches said “out with the organs and pulpits and in with electric guitars and slick power point slides!” Contemporary churches had the method of delivery that best connected with that generation.
But guess what? Within a few years, the best method of delivery will no longer be contemporary worship. Something about it will change:
- the heightened emotionalism
- the enormous emphasis placed on the sermon
- the lack of any Scripture readings (besides maybe a few verses during the sermon)
- the standard “3 songs–announcements–special song–sermon–closing song” order of worship
- the repetitive altar calls that many denominations still practice
Something is going to change. I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know what worship will look like in 10 years.
But I do know this, any church leader who thinks that their method of delivery is perfect–who is unwilling to change their style of worship–will likely go the way of Kmart and Sears.
So here’s my challenge to church leaders: instead of holding fast to the worship style your congregation loves, hold fast to Christ. Worship will change. He won’t.