Many models for church strategy have come and gone in recent years. There was the church growth movement which sought to attract members through polished programs and friendly, warm atmospheres. There are seeker friendly churches who dismiss the worship service in favor of culturally relevant music and messages that would speak to people who had not yet became Christians.
Many leaders of the church today see that these models have not served the church well, and now there is another movement among churches that seeks to be missional in all aspects of church life: The Missional Church Movement. It is this movement that Aniol seeks to analyze and critique, in particular its impact on the worship of the church.
The thrust of the argument centers around the Missional Church’s understanding of culture and how much the church should contextualize the gospel and its worship services to that culture. Aniol pointed out that most Missional church leaders assume all cultures are good, or at least neutral, and therefore the music we use in worship should reflect this culture without compromising the worship.
Aniol argued that not everything about a culture is good. Culture is man made and therefore susceptible to sin and corruption. The church needs to be discerning and intentional in the choices that are made regarding worship and culture.
Casey McCarthy is a DMA student in the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.