Over the past several years it has become common for churches to conduct dual worship services. For some it is from necessity – the congregation is growing and building is not an immediate option. For others, it is rooted in a desire to draw more attendants by offering greater variety and appealing to a younger demographic.
Often these services are based on worship styles, one contemporary, the other traditional, An unfortunate consequence of this is to essentially divide the congregation into two age-segregated bodies.
I have personal reservations about this approach, and found it interesting that at least one church has found reason to move away from it. From the article (emphasis mine),
“The best way a church can demonstrate unifying power of the Gospel before our very segregated world is to maintain a community that transcends cultural barriers,” Tchividjian said in a sermon earlier this month. “The church should be the one institution, the one community – this countercultural community – in our world that breaks barriers down.”
Tchividjian, grandson of evangelist Billy Graham, has lamented that “segregation seems to be as prevalent inside the church as it is outside.”
He recognized that many churches in the U.S. are following the lead of the advertising world by targeting specific age groups and employing the separate contemporary and traditional worship services model.
“That may be good business but it’s bad worship; it’s bad church,” he stated plainly.
For some time I’ve sought to refine my thinking on this subject. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will say that I lean pretty heavily toward the integrated approach. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this and your experiences with either dual worship services and/or integrated worship.