A culture obsessed with authenticity presents the church with a significant challenge. As those who are to be in the world but not of it, the Christian enters the cultural arena as a gymnast mounting the ultimate balance beam. Losing our balance means disqualification, regardless of whether we fall on the side of isolation or accommodation, but our challenge is greater still. We must strive for precision. Keeping to the center doesn’t preclude the possibility that we still flail & flounder through a cringe-inducing exercise when the difference between authenticity and pretense is a matter of inches.
And it’s the difference in these inches that brings us back to the worship promo from the previous post. Authenticity may be reproducible in a number of other venues but Christian worship seems to be one area where authenticity can’t be manufactured. When you have a list of things you’re going to do or customize or build for authentic worship, you’ve already missed the mark. If Scripture has anything to say about authentic worship it will certainly drive us to make much of Him and little of ourselves (and our efforts).
Authentic worship is centered on a person not a style or location. Build it around anything else and it’s only a matter of time before your flailing leads to falling.