Lester Ruth: A Rose by Any Other Name

How would you classify your worship service? It is “contemporary” or “traditional”? Are those terms too limited? Would the terms found in some recent youth ministry training materials be more helpful? In that case, would you classify your worship as “linear” or “organic”? Are you still at a loss for the right classification? Would these terms from a recent online worship forum be more accurate: “multi- sensory worship,” “indigenous worship,” “innovative worship,” “transformation worship,” “blended worship,” “praise services,” “spirited traditional,” “creative,” or “classic worship”? Or would ethnic or racial designators be more descriptive of your service’s character? Is it helpful to label your worship service as “African-American,” “Hispanic,” “Euro-American,” or by some other similar designation?

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About the author

DWS 701 Professor and Research Professor of Christian Worship at Duke Divinity School.