Maybe I am becoming more tolerant as I get older? I know I do tend to resist becoming institutionalised and, hopefully, as my roots grow a bit deeper, I can sway more readily as Rob Bell so beautifully described at this years Greenbelt Festival.
In stark contrast I am concerned there is an undercurrent developing amongst some Christians who prefer their Worship to be that which they perceive as only happening when singing so called Worship songs. Evidence of this is clear in the hurtful responses on the Greenbelt website to a request for feedback on this year's (2009) Communion Service. The majority of the complainants stating that Tim Hughes should have ‘led’ the Worship are the very ones with the most unforgiving and consumerist views!
So, is this the future, I wonder? A new breed of Christian who only wants to Worship exclusively their way and with their preferred style of music who don’t get the idea of a ‘community’ of fellow travellers?
I was deeply saddened to read some of these comments on the Greenbelt website, I thought the service was fantastic. It was obvious there were some issues with the music, but, frankly, the music has been grim at around 225 of the last 250 communions I have been to in the last 5 years or so and Greenbelt has only run 36 since 1974. The vision of the service was so much larger than who led worship and whether the music was inspiring.
And why do I sway more? Well, regardless of what I think of so called modern worship music (not a lot!) I do stand up and play it when needed, I don’t walk away from services because ‘the worship is doing nothing for me’ and I try to be sympathetic to other points of view even when I don’t necessarily agree. I am no saint and I often think my preferences are best for everyone but I accept there are times to just let things happen around you for the greater good.
Ok, ok, I have to confess I would really struggle if Greenbelt sold out and did get Tim Hughes, or one of his ilk, to lead the music at communion ;-)