“Contemporvant” Sunday Morning Worship

Last week  "ME", one of our commenters, brought this "contemporvant" video to our attention.  It's really making the rounds on the internet, with FBCJaxWatchdog posting it on his blog a couple of days ago.  Take a look . . .   


This video was produced in the Spring of 2010 by North Point Church, where Andy Stanley serves as pastor.  Here's the background for this video: 


"On May 5th, we posted a video on our blog called "Sunday Morning".  This video was posted in a catalog of other videos from our annual Church leader conference we host called DRIVE. As a standard practice, we post our videos for the larger creative community because some of our best learning comes from those who view and comment on our work. Well, one week later and over 350,000 hits, this 3-minute video has created quite a stir. If context determines meaning, we can understand some of the questions and confusion surrounding this video. We unintentionally provided no context for it (like we did for all of our Drive videos) and some people have attempted to construe their own meaning for the video. While the conversations have been rich, we now feel responsible to provide some context to help people understand our purpose for the video. “Sunday Morning” was used specifically to employ fun into the conference and set up a message by Andy. The video was meant to be satirical and comical and Andy’s message unpacked the why behind our Sunday morning programming philosophy. That’s all there was to it. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for your responses on the various blogs."

It's been interesting to read some of these responses at the above link as well as on the "Growtivation" video.  Apparently, the comedy / satire is receiving a wide range of reactions.


So what do YOU think?  We hope you will share your comments here.   Tune in Monday for a more indepth look at how worship services have evolved, particularly with regard to worship music.


Dee and I are looking forward to discussing the GROWTIVATION of CONTEMPORVANT Sunday Morning worship services with you next week!    


“Contemporvant” Sunday Morning Worship — 24 Comments

  1. “… our purpose for the video. “Sunday Morning” was used specifically to employ fun into the conference and set up a message by Andy. The video was meant to be satirical and comical and Andy’s message unpacked the why behind our Sunday morning programming philosophy.”

    Huh? It was comical and satirical, I guess, but I was expecting the explanation to be something like… “we wanted to point out how pointless and programmed our Sunday morning contemporant services have become. It’s time we get back to basics and focus on the Lord and our worship of Him.”

    I guess maybe I am still confused about the why part. Is this how their Sunday mornings are done? Is there really some “programming philosophy” behind this assinine portrayal?

    Of course, now that I think about it, our church has a pretty set order of service that just seemed like how we are supposed to do it, until I watched this. Makes me wonder how much is for the Lord and how much is “programming”.

  2. Trinitywatcher

    A whole bunch of it is programming. We are going to be looking at the ancient future movement next week. This movement asks some important questions such as “Is anything in our past actually valuable?” The answer….yep!

  3. All I can say is, they don’t have a smoke machine like The Donelson Fellowship, in Nashville.

  4. Michael,

    Is that to create a “smoke and mirrors” effect? Great comment and as Dee would say, GREAT SCOTT! What is happening in “Contemporvant” churches? Where is Jesus Christ in all of this?

  5. Trinity,

    This is EXACTLY how Andy Stanley does church which is why it is strange he was poking fun at himself. but then, they never see themselves. Stanley is a motivational speaker…and one is lucky if they hear a few proof texts during his “talk”. my guess has been that Stanley is aware of the much of the talk in some circles about him being a very shallow “Christian” preacher and this was an attempt to convince people he was not as bad as all the others.

  6. “Smoke and Mirrors?” Absolutely. They are experts at using that effect. “Where is Jesus in all this?” He’s not, in my opinion. As my wife said, “It’s theatrics.” It’s always been about the show there, ultimately, to sell the books of the author, I mean, “pastor.”

  7. One thing that this video shows really well is that people who claim to dislike liturgical churches have made up a liturgy of their own.

  8. If teaching from the bible was expertly done with some meat to it, and if God was clearly given top honors in music and all else, would format and style be a non-issue?

  9. “If teaching from the bible was expertly done with some meat to it, and if God was clearly given top honors in music and all else, would format and style be a non-issue?”

    Every member with their spiritual gifts functioning within the Body. Kind of hard to do with pews! Even buildings hinder the Body…because we think of THEM as special.

    What turned it into a production with one guy speaking week after week? What turned the Lord’s Supper into tiny crackers and grape juice? Should there be a format

  10. Oh, I love what Frank Viola said: To 1st Century Christians, calling a building a “church” would be like calling your wife a condominium.

  11. We sing in praise of the Lord and we learn a lot of our theology from the hymns we sing, because that sticks in our memory. I am not fond of “loud”, whether amplified guitars and drums or organ, because it covers up the words and the message of the music, which is the important part. I also do not like draggy hymn singing — I think a lot of young people would enjoy the hymns better if we sang them at a peppier beat. I think a lot of our older folks would like the choruses better if they were less loud, less repetitive, and if we had harmony parts for those of us who cannot sing soprano (oops, that would make them more like hymns).

    What we need to do is take the best from the hymns and the best from the choruses, sing them with joy and gusto, sing them at a pace that suggests we are happy and praising, rather than walking in a funeral procession. “Blended” does not capture the essence of what is really needed.

    BTW, 50 years ago, we sang choruses in Sunday School and as teenagers in Training Union. What is different is the choruses and the way we sing them. We do not need the repetitiveness of the never ending endings. Better to sign an additional one that ends quickly, than repeat the same thing five or six times.

  12. Some, or maybe a lot, of that with the hymns vs. new songs, which help people ‘grow’ better, has to do with what you are used to and what your background is. As one who was abused at a hymn singing church and then brought back to God at a contemporary church, I do prefer the contemporary songs. I do not find them lacking in any way for meaning vs. hymns; some of the contemporary songs have Bible verses in them!

    That said, Arse does have a point with the joy and gusto part. I actually enjoy some of the hymns when they are sang happily and have talented people leading and playing instruments.

  13. I may be one, but the blog name is not Arse, but Arce, and it pronounced a little differently!!!!! Thanks, Elisabeth, for the support for the idea of peppy, up-beat congregational singing.

  14. Last night, as I was falling asleep, I got a case of the giggles ( I was very tired). I thought about the children’s song…The Lord said to Noah, you’re gonna build an arkey, arkey. Thought that might be a “Christian” pronunciation. Oh well, ARR see makes sense to me and so it shall be! (Whoa, that rhymed, unintentionally-still tired).

  15. So you had that tape, too? I had those songs in my head for years. I could be in a high powered corporate meeting and the song Father Abraham would be playing in my mind. It was maddening. I remember the Arky Arky quite well. I can even do the hand motions.

  16. My spouse and I led children’s church during worship when we were BC, and we can still do all of those songs, which comes in handy when you have 4s in extended session, which we still do on occasion. My favorite was and is “If I were a butterfly”.

  17. How about “This little light of mine?” I am holding up my finger and blowing on it as I write this! Won’t let Satan (make blowing sound) it out. I’m gonna let it shine.