Why Traditional Worship

traditionalworshipMy name is Erin Rider and I’m 30 years old. I am also a part of a growing movement amongst people my age wanting to return to my traditional roots within the church.

Like many people my age we had the return of the, “Jesus Freak,” movement from the seventies. Our youth directors were tatted up and our bracelets said WWJD. In an attempt to connect with the day’s youth the revivals were filled with heavy metal and pop Christian bands. It worked for the most part, however teens going into their young adult lives began to view it as a “phase” they were over. To an extent I found myself with the same thoughts.

Now that my generation is older they want that part of their life back. Not the, “Jesus Freak,” aspect of it. They want Jesus back in their lives.

Some people view traditional service as boring and nostalgic. It is often like the toys we grew out of so many years ago, the meals we thought we never eat again, or the hometown we never thought we’d return to. As we get older the more we miss these things because it is a connection with the past that we thought we had grown out.

I remember when we got our first Nintendo I was six years old and it was so exciting we played all the time! As the years went on newer better things kept coming out: super Nintendo, N64, Xbox, Wii, etc. As things got newer and more exciting I stepped further and further away from that first game system. Recently, I saw a commercial for a game where you can play the old games on the new systems. It’s got a father and son looking like they are having a good time connecting with one another. The game isn’t any more fun than other games out there. It certainly doesn’t have the exciting graphics games like “Call of Duty,” have, but this was a way a boy can share in the past with his father. That’s how I feel about traditional worship. “Rock of Ages” doesn’t necessarily rock as much as “Jesus Freak” by the Newsboys but it’s a song my mother and I can sing together. “How great thou Art” might seem old fashioned but it still brought tears and joy to the hearts of many when young country singer Carrie Underwood sang it. Worship service is about the word of God and I never feel more connected with God than when I hear those old hymns my parents and grandparents sang or when I take Holy Communion in complete silence giving me opportunity to go in prayer and reflect on the meaning of the sacrament I just partook in.

I like traditional service because I don’t want to be entertained in church. I don’t want to be distracted while the Holy Spirit speaks to me. I don’t want to relive a phase I went through. I want to “hear” the word of God. I want to speak the liturgy that has been spoken for so many years. Mostly, I want to relive a life I once shared with loved ones. I will never see my grandpa in his Sunday suit or hear my Grandma, Grandma singing “Go tell it on a Mountain” off key ever again, but when I see the elderly man sitting at the front of the church and hear that song the good memories I have of them come back. Yes it is nostalgic and it’s not entertaining, but it’s neither wrong nor right it’s all about where we connect with God the most. For me it is traditional worship.