Tracking the Trends in Worship

Matthew Pinson, in Perspectives on Christian Worship, gives five general approaches. This was the basis of the survey. Here are the percentages for each of the views students marked as their preferred worship approach:

48 percent Blended Worship
26 percent Liturgical Worship
15 percent Contemporary Worship
11 percent Emerging Worship
0 percent Traditional Evangelical Worship

What is worth noting is the steady decline of all contemporary worship as a preferred style for Christian young adults. Liturgical, garnering 1 out of 4, will not be a surprise to most of us who work in Christian colleges. Emerging Worship is probably best understood as worship that emphasizes creativity and symbolism, and would use music that would tend to use modest (acoustic guitar, for example) accompaniment or be sung a capella.

Not surprisingly, it seems that if the group being asked is made up entirely of those who have some involvement in worship leading, Contemporary Worship inevitably dominates when I ask for a show of hands. Since we tend to perceive the church filtered through our immediate circle of relationships within the church, this may explain what appears to be a gap in assumptions and perceptions between the musicians on stage and many of their peers in the audience.

I would be interested to get feedback on trends in worship from others who work with young adults, particularly in a college or university setting.