by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 11/51/15.
Let me share about blended worship and the evangelistic prowess of blended services (which I prefer to call “unity services” rather than blended – but for this discussion and clarity I will use the latter).
I’ve made clear in my books (“ORGANIX,” “Cure for the Common Church” and “The Healthy Church”) about the lack of evangelistic efficacy of blended services, but often smaller churches (as I mention in “A House Divided”) have trouble having enough people to move to two services. In this scenario the better option to the blended format is the compartmentalized format. In this strategy the key will be to compartmentalize your service until you have grown sufficiently to launch two services.
One client had a pre-glow contemporary music component from 10:10-10:30, and then their standard traditional service from 10:30-11:30. This meant those who didn’t like modern worship didn’t have to sit through it. I have also seen this work as an after-glow too (though with a bit more difficulty). Eventually as growth occurs the two services grow into two worship alternatives.
The reason this is necessitated is that people worship most passionately without alien (to them) music and culture invading. That is because we worship more readily and unhindered when surround with familiarity. Thus separating the two segments (rather than blending them into some sort of muddled goo) allows people to worship more passionately. Biblically, we see Davidic worship very different than New Testament worship.
Thus, many churches will need to follow this strategy to grow. An area growing with younger families may especially require this. As you know in my book I show you how with about 100 people you can readily go to a second service. This is the ultimate way to dissuade the cultural music wars 🙂 Until then, the compartmentalized format will help smaller churches grow with some degree of cultural anonymity.