Talk:Contemporary worship

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May 2008[edit]

Well, I've been bold and given this article a major edit (accidentally flagged as minor) to reflect what is generally referred to by the term "contemporary worship". It's by no means perfect and there's lots more that can be done, but I hope this will be a good basis for futher work.

I changed the name of the article as this is the most common term used and has been mentioned in many books, including some of the references I've given. Currently "contemporary christian worship" redirects here. Maybe there is some room for a separate article here with wider scope. I have recreated the "worship presentation program" article as I felt it didn't really fit in the main article. I've also done some work on related stuff - moved "praise song" to "contemporary worship music" etc.

I hope people will feel that what I've done is an improvement.

Sidefall (talk) 14:56, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Update - I've changed Contemporary Christian worship to a disambig that links to both this page and Contemporary worship music. I think that's clearer and distinguishes between the musical genre and the style of church service. The two are sufficiently different IMO to warrant separate articles. Sidefall (talk) 15:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Post-merger help required[edit]

Article has been merged as per discussion on Talk:Christian worship. However, several things need to be fixed now:

  1. Merging of related articles on other language Wikipedias:
    1. Worship leader:
      1. pl:Lider uwielbienia
      2. sv:Lovsångsledare
      3. vi:Worship leader
    2. Worship music:
      1. de:Lobpreis und Anbetung
      2. fr:Louange
      3. ko:워십
      4. nl:Aanbiddingsmuziek
      5. pl:Praise & worship
      6. sv:Lovsång
  2. Cleanup of the resultant article, re-writing it so that the entire article is cohesive
  3. Alignment of images

I will be working on the cleanup and alignment of images, as much as time allows. But as always, any help is welcome. Thanks! aJCfreak yAk 11:22, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Confusion: What is this article?[edit]

I think there is a major difference between Alternative worship and contemporary worship. ALternative worship is very much a missional movement drawing on a very postmodern pespective. They are not the same thing - and this attempted merge - is making the wrong assumptions. If alt worship needs to be re-written then I am happy to contribute to make this clearer. There is a stronger link between Emerging Church and alternative worship rather than with contemporary worship. PLease see this from a global perspective - and not from a US colonialist perspective!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by KerryDawkins (talkcontribs) 11:24, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

This article "Contemporary Christian worship" seems at best confused and at worst biased.

The title could mean a wide variety of different things, such as: Catholic worship since Vatican 2, "Contemporary Christian Music" (CCM) as a recorded home-listening aid to private worship, corporate church worship with a "worship song" slant, Taize reflective prayers, Iona Community Christian social activism, and so on and so on...

The opening paragraph seems to be setting the scene across a worldwide range of Christian worship practice; indeed the first sentence takes us across "Eastern Orthodox", "Catholic" and "Western Church". But then a quick glance through the contents and skim-read across the text shows a very strong bias towards the CCM and "worship song" aspects, to the exclusion of almost everything else (both worship and non-Western-church).

This article starts off saying one thing ("We're going to cover everything contemporary") but then covers only one single, small aspect (CCM/worship-song music strand).

In fact, is it not thus quite misleading and biased?

A more subtle, but equally serious, flaw is that the title is "...worship" but the content is almost exclusively "music". Many of us with a foot (or more) in "worship-song"-related traditions tend to think "music" and "worship" are almost the same. (As soon as we read such a sentence we immediately protest!)

I would suggest the need to address the following points:

  • A clear decision: Is this about "music"? Or about "worship" (including music, liturgical practice, etc.)?
  • That decision, once made, should remain conscious throughout the subsequent revision and writing.
  • An overview article: a "whistle-stop tour" across the field (whether that be "worship" or "music").
  • That there should definitely be some music articles, but that each retain a clear focus on what it is, and what it is not, and how they relate to each other.
  • A set of music-related articles cover all contemporary music fields, some of which would be: CCM (e.g. Jars of Clay), worship song (e.g. Kendrick, Redman), Taize, Iona, Anglican liturgical music, Catholic meditative (Messiaen, Hakim), Catholic post-Vatican-2, recent Japanese hymnody, etc.

The present situation has (as St. Paul might say) fallen short. But with some work, this set of articles could be a really useful, coherent, cross-referenced resource here in wikipedia.

Hope that helps.

Feline Hymnic 22:03, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Now that a month has elapsed since the comments above, I have added a 'POV-check' to the main article.

Feline Hymnic (talk) 23:29, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I agree with you, FH, but I do not think the article is intentionally biased. It looks like several other article were taken and merged together, but no one spent the time to refine them to match the new subject and add coherence. The topic certainly needs to be expanded on and more views need to be given. Something also needs to be said about how singing in church is often mistakenly called worship, when it is only a part of worship. This probably sprouted from calling the music "worship music." I think I'm going to create a user sub-page to start working on this project. :) If anyone wants to help out feel free to contribute here: User:Merond e/Worship Project. --Merond e 06:28, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Apologies. My phrase "In fact, is it not thus quite misleading and biased?" was too strong. I did not mean to suggest anything deliberate or intentional; I'm sure all was "in good faith". Rather (and simply) that we happen to have ended up with an article which sets out to cover a vast and varied field, and the contributions to it (for which we should, of course, be grateful) happen to have been mostly concentrated in just one part of it. My use of 'misleading' was poor; it was to convey that an outside user, finding an article that said it was covering the whole field could end up thinking that the CCM corner of field was representative of the whole field. Rather like if an article about "colours of the rainbow" talked only about red and perhaps a hint towards orange. (Or something like that!) Feline Hymnic (talk) 15:17, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I understand. :) I was sure you meant no harm. So are you going to help work on it? Don't forget I have a copy for us to play around with over here: User:Merond e/Worship Project. --Merond e 08:51, 26 February 2008 (UTC)


I have placed a mergeto tag on Alternative worship‎, suggesting that it be merged here. The two concepts seem to overlap quite a bit. Any thoughs? Pastordavid (talk) 19:23, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Generally, I disagree, although it depends on exactly how "contemporary worship" is defined. Alternative worship is completely different to the common understanding of contemporary worship, in fact I think it began as a response to perceived shortcomings of contemporary worship. I'd prefer it stays separate, but I have no objection to a brief section here with a link to the main article. Sidefall (talk) 22:17, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Agree with Sidefall (so against merger). "Contemporary worship" can mean many different things to many different people. But the current Wikipedia Contemporary worship article is strongly slanted towards a definition allied with Contemporary Christian Music and Praise song music with strong evangelical and charismatic links (thus rather narrow, although I don't intend that remark as a criticism here). By contrast Alternative worship‎ is (I understand) about breadth and exploration. Feline Hymnic (talk) 22:43, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Sidefall too - there was a lot of "Contemporary worship" around when we first set up the services which became the contemporary 'Alternative Worship' scene back in the early 1990s. If the article is merged, then it will be a very short time before another article appears. Clearly alternative worship has a context, and that is partly as a postmodern reaction to the things that were passing as 'contemporary worship' in the 1980s. Many of those things are still there today: over-focus on contemporary (soft-rock) music, over-professionalization of roles of worship leadership, weak focus upon community relationships, too much focus on feelings at the expense of other factors, restriction of creative roles to the few and the prominent, little scope for multiplicity of ways of participating, etc. etc. Most 'alternative worship' eschews strongly the cult of the worship song and the worship leader; some contexts have even abandoned singing altogether, so strong is the reaction in places. Please just keep it as it is and let it evolve as a distinct article. For further information see and Steve Collins' excellent The phrase 'alternative worship' was being used as a synonym for 'contemporary worship' in North American contexts as late as the end of the 1990s, but since the rise in prominence of the Emerging Church phenomenon in the USA, there has been a recognition that Alternative Worship is a distinct phenomenon, pioneered in British, Australian and New Zealand contexts as a liturgical response (and reflection of) postmodernity. For more details see Dan Kimball, Emerging Worship: creating worship gatherings for new generations (Emergent YS/Zondervan, 2004) Digitaltheologian (talk) 06:14, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
No merge please. Digitaltheologian summarizes the reasons quite well. Gandalf2000 (talk) 05:15, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Since the merge proposal has still not been closed, I vote Merge. While the two are dissimilar to each other, they are sufficiently similar to each other when compared to a traditional worship that a casual observer would not notice the difference. A protracted section could be included in this article to differentiate between Contemporary worship and Alternative worship‎. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:53, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

non-churchgoing visitors[edit]

Is contemporary worship "utilized in order for non-churchgoing visitors to feel more comfortable" or "utilized with the rationale that non-churchgoing visitors will feel more comfortable"? I don't think that there have been studies to state that it actually makes non-churchgoing visitors feel more comfortable, but that's the hope. Michael Frost has argued that non-churchgoing people don't actually ever attend based on style of worship, and they certainly don't decide to visit a church because of it. So without proof that it actually makes non-churchgoers feel anything, we shouldn't suggest it. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:58, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Nomenclature: "contemporary" vs. "emergent"[edit]

There have long been objections to the terms "contemporary worship" and "contemporary service," on the grounds that all worship, by definition, is "contemporary." For a long time, no other reasonable alternate name saw much use. Within the past year or so, however, "emergent" has become increasingly common as an adjective for such services, particularly among mainstream churches that continue to hold "traditional" services as well. --Hbquikcomjamesl (talk) 16:35, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

There may have long been objections but since the term "long" is relative, and the other terms are as well, what does it matter? I didn't read anything from Paul the apostle objecting to the term. Polycarp, Irenaeus of Lyons, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Benedict, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Wesley, Spurgeon, and many other Christian authors are silent on the topic. So you'll really have to expand this thought more fully. Who objects to the term? When did they start objecting to the term? Why are their services so archaic that to distinguish themselves their contemporaries had to re-brand their style of worship "contemporary"? I'm not saying your points are not valid, they're just very narrow and they're not complete.
Also, emergent has another meaning entirely and should not be confused with this style of worship so do not use that term. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:29, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Conservatives oppose charismatics?[edit]

This is funny because most charismatic churches are conservative and evangelical. "Opposition to contemporary worship has been most vocal from the conservative evangelical wing of the church, which also opposes the charismatic movement." Need some fact chickn'. (talk) 23:14, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

June 2013 - Redirect from "Worship leader?"[edit]

I'm perplexed as to why "Worship leader" redirects to this article. I understand that contemporary worship services call their lead musicians "worship leaders," but the term is much broader than contemporary worship. Many traditional worshiping congregations use the term for the person who reads the prayers and performs other non-musical elements of the service. I suggest creating a separate article or a disambiguation page that links to this article as well as others that may apply. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tpoling (talkcontribs) 03:33, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

That is an excellent suggestion. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:47, 27 June 2013 (UTC)