Assimilate the best of all time for worship
___By Ken Camp
___Texas Baptist Communications
___WACO--It makes as much sense for a church to reject all worship traditions of previous generations as it would for a physician to ignore the accumulated medical knowledge of the ages, according to Marvin Jolly, minister of music at First Baptist Church of Cleburne.
___At the same time, it is pointless for churches to cling to rituals that have lost all meaning and have no teaching value for the current generation, he added.
___Jolly led a seminar on "Preserving the Best of the Past--Rediscovering the Meaning of Tradition" as part of the Texas Baptist Church MusiConference, July 26-28 at Baylor University. The conference was sponsored by the church music department of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
___The proper role of the worship leader is "assimilating the best of all time (and) adding our verse to the song," he said. "We are called to synthesize and assimilate a new worship formula."
___Worship leaders need to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of various worship styles--liturgical, traditional, blended, praise and worship, seeker-sensitive and alternative, he said. For example, while the traditional revivalist style emphasizes a personal relationship with God, both the liturgical style and the praise-and-worship style stress God's majesty and holiness.
___He noted that while some boomers and busters find the praise-and-worship style meaningful, early indicators reveal the "millennials"--the younger teen-agers of today--crave a return to the contemplative mystery of formal liturgy.
___"The church of the new millennium will call for worship that is very meaningful, ... has substance, ... is true to the biblical model, ... that celebrates, meditates and transforms," Jolly said.
___The key, he said, it to evaluate each tradition to determine if it still communicates biblical truth.
___"If it's dead, bury it. If it's alive, keep it," Jolly said.
___A tradition is worthy of preserving, he said, if it:
___ Serves as an effective teaching tool for the next generation.
___ Meets the needs and provides support for the church's mission statement and future ministries.
___ Dialogues with other worship styles/influences.
___ Is about Jesus Christ.
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