How I wish all true churches would end what Tullian “@PastorTullian” Tchividjian calls ” ‘chronological snobbery’ in worship.” His enthusiasm was so contagious on Monday when he joyfully proclaimed the days of split services at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, where he is the new pastor, are now over.
For many years Coral Ridge had two very distinct worship services–one contemporary and one traditional. The result was the unintentional development of two different churches under one roof. It wasn’t healthy.
[...] The truth is, however, that if the only type of music you employ in a worship service is old, you inadvertently communicate that God was more active in the past than he is in the present. On the other hand, if the only type of music you employ in a worship service is new, you inadvertently communicate that God is more active in the present than he was in the past.
So just this past Sunday, Coral Ridge (founded and formerly pastored by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy) reunited its services.
As I wrote on Facebook, referencing conversation between myself and my wife:
I absolutely love the thought behind this. Last night Lacy and I were talking about the sad sort of division that “…split services” (perhaps unintentionally) generate in a church. The older members miss out on the younger people’s enthusiasm and energy, and the younger members miss out on the older members’ wisdom and experiences. In effect it’s saying “I have no need of you” to either “group” and its styles. So glad for Pastor Tullian and others, who are not just urging people to be nicer to each other, but to focus on Christ and the Gospel.
Ray Fowler was there, and on Tuesday provided a more-detailed account of what the reunified service was like:
As the congregation gathered, the orchestra played a worshipful rendition of the hymn, “This Is My Father’s World.” This was followed by a video presentation of the church’s new vision for worship appropriately titled, “One.” Next the majestic organ swelled as we all stood for the opening hymn. But then, surprise, the organ traded off for the drum kit, the orchestra and praise band joined in, and we sang “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” to a truly blended accompaniment of all the instruments together.
The service continued with traditional and contemporary elements blended together. We sang hymns and praise choruses with various instrumentation. During the offering the choir and orchestra presented a stirring rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” Pastor Tullian preached a convicting message on the importance of unity in the church from Ephesians 4:1-6. All things were done to God’s glory with excellence in keeping with Coral Ridge’s philosophy of ministry.
As I also wrote, in response to the above description:
I imagine the Throne Room of the New Jerusalem, on the New Heavens and New Earth, to be a little like this: a snapshot of the incredible diversity, across ages, cultures and genres, of true worship.