The churches and para-church organisations such as New Horizon, Keswick at Portstewart and the Keswick Convention in the Lake District of England are all facing upheaval regarding what characterises Christian worship.
The big motivator towards the modernisation of worship is, not Scripture, but fear - fear of man. This "fear of man" shows itself in a fear of youth culture, fear that it is contemporary youth culture that is driving young people both into the churches and out of the churches. By being more like the world the churches draw worldly young people within its ambit; and by being less like the world, they fear they will lose young people.
This begs the obvious question: what it is it, then, that draws and keeps young people in the churches? It is the good time they have, enjoying themselves? If so, then that is all they receive - self-enjoyment instead of their enjoyment of God which is why they were made in the first place. Is it the lively music and modern words? If it is, then it is certainly not God Who draws and keeps them there. They are having their own worldly needs met by the churches, but not their real needs.
So poorly taught are many within the youth church culture that they do not or cannot recognise the when God is really present in a meeting, or when it is just raw emotion being excited by emotive words and tunes.
These ill-taught young people are not just the leaders of the future; they are the real leaders in to churches today. It is they who set the agenda for worship and praise, not the bible taught and bible-based minister. They call the shots in most churches now. They determine how God is to be praised and in what way this is to be done. The Scriptures are not given a look-in!
I never thought I would hear myself say this, but perhaps a return to a more liturgical worship service will cut out the nonsense that passes for worship today. And a return to music that touches the emotions but that does not excite an emotional response to specifically designed music.
If this crisis in how God is to be praised is not resolved soon, then churches that are almost evangelical nite clubs will become full-blown nite clubs that are indistinguishable from what we have in our towns and cities.
That is something we do not want or need!