Bought to you by the letter I for me*
This is a video that we did a few years ago when I was in a youth group (I apologise for my 17 year old self’s terrible drumming!) And whilst no one actually sings these altered versions of the songs if you stop and look for a moment at modern worship songs the amount that we sing the words “I”, “me” and “my” is actually quite disturbing compared with “us”, “we” and “our”. Our Christianity in this way is not counter cultural but has absorbed the increasingly individualistic culture around us. It’s not about us, or even them but all about me. This causes issues with worship and style, and so in creating something new or wanting to change something to be more relevant we do it the way that we want to, and expect people to come on board with this as it’s what we like. But surely this is not the point? Surely we should be looking to be culturally relevant to those we are trying to reach. Let’s look at Paul.
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9
And so he becomes relevant to those that he is speaking to and working with. If we want people to engage with us in church we need to be relevant to them. What we actually do is say come on jews, be like us, come on those under the law be like us, if you don’t have the law why don’t you come and be like us.
We are all going to have our own preferred style of worship, whatever that looks like. But when we exist to serve other people we need to think about what that means. If you want to worship in your preferred style at some point in the week then that’s great and I don’t necessarily think you should stop but at the time in the week that we are reaching out and looking to engage with people we need to lay down our own preferences and listen and respond so that we may speak to people in a way that they understand and are able to engage in. And let’s not forget that Christianity is a religion of sacrifice, and sometimes that means that we have to make sacrifices.
*I had hoped to be able to find an old ASBO Jesus cartoon that was something like “Today’s worship is bought to you by the letter I and the number 10”
A related post can be found here: Me, Myself and Jesus; the Idolatry of Worship