The home pages of church websites sometimes have a photograph intended to draw the attention of browsers looking for a church to visit or join. I noticed one that got me thinking: “What picture best describes your church?”
It was a picture taken from the fifth row of seated people, facing the stage on which was the band and the vocalists vibrantly singing under the direction of their leader. No pulpit could be seen. This church projected an image intended to draw people to their services.
What was the image they projected? Obviously the sung worship was the drawcard. “Come to our church — you will enjoy our worship (but, see, the congregation doesn’t have to sing. They will be blessed as they sit and listen)”.
My mind got going. What picture would a church have projected 70 years ago?
A beautiful Gothic sanctuary with stained-glass windows and tall spire? “Come to our church, you will feel the religious aura of centuries of Christian worship”.
A choir singing to a pipe-organ? “Come to our church, our choir performs splendid oratorios”.
The pastor preaching from the pulpit using the huge pulpit Bible open before him? “Come to our church, you will hear the Word of God expounded”.
A congregation with closed eyes, open mouths, upraised hands, with some lying on the floor and an empty wheelchair? “Come to our church, you will experience the healing power of Jesus”.
But now in the 21st century, the church that attracts people will likely be a church with a worship-music image. Other aspects may well be present, but it is the band with vibrant Contemporary Worship that pulls the people.
That’s why this monthly Gateway News “Worship Column” touches the right spot among Christians. Worship Songs are essential to our Christian faith and service.