Recently heard a sermon by our pastor as part of a series on the biblical concepts of Zion. I was blessed by the series, but I was also struck by a passing comment he had made. He said there appears to be two basic variations of the Christian church today at opposite poles from each other__ the “Rock Concert” and the “Lecture Hall”. Most churches gravitate toward one of these two poles. As well, there are many fine churches somewhere in the middle.
How does one define a rock concert church or a lecture hall church? I can only define these from my personal experience having looked for a new church home at various points of my life, in different states, or visited other churches for a variety of other reasons and special events.
In the rock concert church, at its worse, the music tends to be raucous and overwhelming the service. Does loud and clappy make church worship more meaningful? I know of one church that decided to cancel its sermon during the worship time because churchgoers had gotten into the rock-style music. They did not want to break the moment. That church no longer exists, and I can only speculate why.
Lecture hall churches tend to be exactly what its namesake implies. Think of school with large crowd of students listening to a lecturer drone on about some topic. It’s usually the time I need a caffeine-powered drink to keep me awake. Music in this type of church is not typically emphasized or may be minimized.
While it’s easy to criticize either church/worship style there are positives as well. In the best definition of a lecture hall church where the Word of God is being preached, the Holy Spirit can use that Word to penetrate any human barrier and minister to any need. There are many testimonies of people being called to serve after hearing a dry and minimal sermon.
There is a place for engaging music, too. There are many contemporary musicians, Hillsong being one of them, that attract younger people. If modern music legitimately draws a person to the cross of salvation, we should be expressing our thanksgiving to the Lord. There is plenty of room at the foot of the cross for all kinds of music. And yes, it’s okay not to like everything.
Where do you come down on these two opposite styles?