Before considering HOW to start Blended Worship,
it may be good to determine WHY we want Blended Worship.
What are our goals and what are our reasons for wanting Blended Worship?
Is it our goal to promote church growth and try to imitate the growth of some megachurches that use contemporary worship?
Then perhaps we should ask: What is the purpose of the Lutheran church service — to bring in crowds or to feed those who come with the Gospel and God’s Word? Should we be evaluating a church’s success by numbers, or does God’s Word work invisibly on the hearts of men and women? Are there other ways to bring people to our church service? Perhaps we should just preach the Gospel message clearly and leave the results in God’s hands.
see “The proper focus of our worship” by Mark Schroeder
Is it our goal to bring in more youth and young adults into the church?
Then perhaps we should ask: Are we trying other ways to get the youth involved — Bible classes, fellowship, service activities? What are the reasons that youth are coming or not coming to church? Can we have a more pleasing contemporary style, yet maintain the same respect and content of the Lutheran hymn, with the focus on a Gospel or Biblical message?
Is it our goal to get more upbeat music, to make the service more fun, exciting and entertaining?
Then perhaps we should ask: What is the purpose of the Lutheran hymns/songs in the church service — a. to be exciting, fun and entertaining or b. to edify, comfort and strengthen faith with the Gospel and God’s Word?
If we just want fun and exciting music, perhaps we could find that in a local rock concert.
see “Should Rock Music be used in Church?”
Are we looking for liturgy, music and language that is simpler, more pleasing and more understandable for the congregation?
Which of these are worthwhile, God pleasing goals for a Lutheran church service; which of these are questionable?
Are these realistic goals for blended worship to achieve?
Are these good reasons to have a blended worship?
Are there other (or additional) ways to reach the worthwhile goals?
Who is our target audience?
As you wrestle with these questions, I would suggest that you read some of the articles by WELS pastors and theologians on the subject. Many of these articles are on this website under the “Blended Worship Articles” page.
I would suggest the following definitions as good reasons for a church to desire Blended Worship:
Blended worship means adding modern hymns, songs, liturgy settings, musical instrumentation, communication styles and presentation media to the traditional worship service to more clearly communicate the message of the gospel and God’s grace to the people.
Blending the gospel-proclaiming forms of the church’s past with musical styles that are part of the church’s present may help us spread the message of Christ into the future.
WELS has School of Worship Enrichment by WELS Commission on Worship to assist congregations in their worship service goals. Perhaps a church could also contact WELS for Parish Assistance counselling to help determine the church’s goals and needs and suggested ways to achieve those goals.