Kill Your (Celebrity Culture) Worship

Mike Cosper | January 29, 2016

The demise of evangelicalism, megachurches, and orthodox Christianity is regularly announced these days, but I admit I’m a bit skeptical of most of these reports. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, half of all statistics are made up on the spot, and the other half can be made to mean whatever you want them to.

Recently there’s been some chatter about the imminent demise of contemporary worship music. Given the resurgent interest in hymns and liturgy, the narrative goes, churches are beginning to turn away from the lights and smoke of contemporary worship to these older traditions. Most recently, Rod Dreher wrote an interesting piece, “Kill Your Megachurch Worship,” in which he essentially offers an “amen” to Jonathan Aigner’s article on the reasons “contemporary worship” is or should be in decline.

While I’m a little skeptical of the decline narrative (just look at the streaming and download numbers for Hillsong’s “Oceans”), there was a lot in Dreher’s article I really appreciated. He and Aigner argue for the value of the liturgy, and for a reorientation of our priorities around depth and spiritual formation—away from the of-the-moment entertainmentism of much contemporary worship. I’ve argued for much of the same in Rhythms of

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