One thing I'd like to add- in the situations I know about, it's the ones that bent ears and twisted arms the hardest to get this 'change' that are the most critical and negative of the results. Then they wind up leaving and taking others with them that are on their 'side'.A lot of people have left in the process. And a lot of people have been hurt in the process.
A good thing for your leadership to do would be to go to find the other churches in your region that have tried the 'traditional and contemporary' services- talk to them, see how it went. Find out what they learned, what they would do different, and if they would do it again. Don't try to reinvent the wheel.
The main issue isn't multiple services- it's the type of services and why they are happening. Most churches in my area do an 'early bird' service and one mid-day. But they are basically the same service- same theme, same style, same songs, same message. Certain demographics seem to attend one over the other (usually younger people and many with young families like the later one), but that's a matter of lifestyle. The bigger issue is what the underlying issues are.The church I used to attend has had 2 separate services for the last 15 years with just minor grumbling.
I really don't see the issue there. Everyone finds the service that fits their schedule.
The church can be the masters of passive-aggressive behavior. Church people can be masters at the little sayings and cliches while engaging in hostile behavior behind the scenes. They can raise their hands and weep during worship, then Monday have little secret meetings badmouthing people in the church. Issues come up, communication barriers arise, and covert behavior aimed at serving personal agendas begins to dominate. The big, gray elephants in the room are not talked about in an open and honest matter. The culture becomes one of an iceberg- there is the small part you see on the surface, but there is this big, ugly, mass lying beneath what you can see that's steering the church.
Leadership contributes to this because so many times, people in leadership want to be in charge, but no one wants to take charge. No one has the fortitude to tell the manipulators and cancer-feeders 'enough' because they may 'give a lot of money' (one of my favorites) and their uncle/brother/dad/second cousin twice removed is an elder and they think they can get away with anything. I've talked with a pastor friend of mine that was so frustrated in a church he was at because the elders hired him to make changes, then wouldn't let him change anything (except what their personal agendas were), then blamed him because nothing changed. He finally resigned and left ministry.
All this being said because issues like 'we're thinking about adding a contemporary and a traditional service because people are complaining' can be the tip of the iceberg. I can't say whether this instance is or isn't, just be honest with yourself about it. If there are issues, you will be much better served by dealing with them head-on instead of passive-aggressive covertness.
I spent some time in my pastor's office this morning; this has been one my mind the most of the past few days since he and I talked about it last Sunday, and his as well. The question that I had asked God this week in prayer and meditation is this "are we doing something wrong? And if so, would you God show us where we can/should adapt and consider changing"?
So far there hasn't been an answer that we're (and when I say "we" I mean as a church) doing anything wrong. It is evident in our congregation to feel the Spirit of God moving in our services, and as a few of you folks have alluded to, the considerations for "change" are/could be mainly to appease a few rusty gates, and neither of us feel that is necessary right now. My pastor's statement was "we need to do what we do the best that we can do to glorify God in our services, but on top of that also in our everyday lives". I think that is one reason that this subject (when it comes up) hits me a little hard because as I'm learning how to worship more and more daily, when I enter into worship with our congregation, it is just an extension of what I'm doing every other day, except I'm attempting to help the members of our church worship corporately together as a unified church body.
I think he is still going to mention it in our next staff meeting, just to see what the rest of the staff (and possibly a few deacons) want to provide as far as input. He also wants to talk about our Sunday evening services with the Sunday evening folks, and see what their thoughts are, their opinions, their suggestions might be, and then see where that takes us.
The one thing I love about my pastor is nothing is done "right away", it's all taken in moderation, and prayed over, seeking God's will in what comes up, and then decisions are explained as necessary.
I do want to thank you folks for your input, and for allowing me the venue to rant a bit; I have become more and more passionate about serving God in the church I'm a part of, and even though my analytical side wants to keep emotions at bay, sometimes I get a little emotional when trying to pull or push some of our members into worship... lol
Hope we could help give you some perspective.
It's a good thing that people are being deliberate about this decision.
That's something I (and many of us) have been through as well.and even though my analytical side wants to keep emotions at bay, sometimes I get a little emotional when trying to pull or push some of our members into worship... lol
As far as my own experience, I had to accept that no matter how much we want to, we can't worship [I]for[I] anyone. Even though it's a corporate setting, it's still an individual process to engage in worship.
I also learned that it's nearly impossible to interpret people's level of inner worship based on what we see as their engagement. I've known people who weep, hands raised, eyes closed, but it's like the hypocrites (root word is Greek for actor) Jesus mocked that put on the show on the street corner. They don't grow their relationship, their inner self is not engaged. Likewise, I know those who aren't the most animated or engaged on the outside, but inside, they are in the throne room, growing and changing based on their encounter. As a worship team and especially a leader, it's easy to get frustrated because people aren't displaying the outward emotion we might expect them to show, based on what we ourselves would do. What is a better gauge is the people's response after the music stops. Are they receiving the Word? Are they changing their lifestyle? That's where the rubber meets the road.
So don't spend a whole lot of emotional energy trying to 'push and pull' others into worship because people's outward response doesn't always reflect their inward worship.
I was talking to a friend the other day who has spent about 10 months trying to find a church. She was talking about how some places they loved everything, but the worship seemed stale and boring. Then there was one place where they loved the music and the freedom of the people during the music time, but everything else seemed very shallow. There was more to the conversation, of course, but I was trying to help her see that expression does not equal worship. There are lots of people who are very free with their expressions and are truly worshipping. There are lots of people who seem almost stoic or detached and are truly worshipping. And there are lots of people in both types that are not worshipping at all.