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Worship and Culture

2019 Calvin Symposium on Worship | Seminar

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All pastoral leaders, including worship leaders, are called to make decisions with discernment about culture. We are called to “not conform to this world” (Rom. 12) and yet to “be all things to all people” for the sake of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:22). At its best, Christian worship is richly contextual. It is also countercultural. To make discerned choices about how worship relates to culture, we need the wisdom of believers from many different cultural contexts to teach and guide us, to keep us from rejecting what should not be rejected and embracing what should not be embraced. We must learn from the church’s tragic mistakes over the centuries as well as from its examples of faithful witness and contextual adaptation. In this seminar, panelists offer reflections on massive historical problems such as colonialism, but they also highlight cultural discernment decisions that present opportunities for faithfulness in individual churches. Our aim is for a global conversation that also feels very local.

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