Unintended Consequences Of The Jesus Movement: Liturgy As Commercial

The lights dim, and the band takes the stage.The worship leader welcomes the crowd with a boisterous “Hey, how’s everyone doin’? Great to see you all!” before the band slips into a booming, clever cover of a pop song, then segues into a couple of modern sing-a-long worship standards pulled right from heavy rotation on the positive, encouraging Christian radio station.

A carefully-curated selection of announcements and a prayer follows, creating space for ushers/hosts to collect the offering while an emotional musical solo backed by acoustic instruments creates a more intimate mood in the cavernous room. A slickly-produced three-minute video sets up the sermon, which is the main course for the gathering. It focuses on addressing everyday needs of the crowd (relationships, finances, time management). A call to action wraps up the message. The crowd is charged to do something or change something in their lives in the coming week, a brief prayer in the form of a benediction may be offered, and the band returns to the stage to play the crowd up-tempo out of the auditorium.

If you’ve attended a seeker-sensitive church, you’ve probably seen some form of this liturgy. [Read more]

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