The Style of your Church doesn’t Matter (Stop Judging)

While traveling recently, I overheard two other conference speakers talking about a nearby church in the city where the conference was held. Condescendingly they laughed and joked at some of the things this church was doing. They talked openly and intellectually about this church’s shallowness in approach. “Can you believe it?” they shared.

Ironically enough, we have a God whose Word is clear about knowing the proud from afar. A God who wants nothing to do with the religious elite who think they’re “deep” and have it all figured out. A God who isn’t impressed with “look at us” as opposed to “them.”

Ironically enough, we have a God whose Word is clear about knowing the proud from afar.

In their educated depth, these speakers somehow failed to see the heart of God, and in this moment they were profoundly shallow.

Educated, yet fools.

Seasoned, yet infant Christians.

Truth is, I’ve said similar things myself.

Truth is, I’ve said similar things myself.

No wonder this world is often turned off by followers of Jesus.

Lord, keep us from becoming Pharisees.

Two specific things with this:

#1 One of the speakers had just given one of the most brilliant, eloquent talks I have ever heard. Ever! After overhearing the conversation, I forgot most of what was so beautifully spoken.

#2 Most of their conversation was about the style of worship at this nearby church. In their eyes, traditional worship had more substance compared to the newer, shallower church in town. Ive heard the exact same thing said by the new church in town talking about the traditional church and its empty rituals. Heart matters. Style of worship doesn’t.

(Added #3. Just to be clear, worship and our styles of worship do matter and they are important. But they don’t matter (at all) if our heart is in the wrong place. Ex: Ps 50:13-15, Hosea 6:6, Isaiah 1:11).


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8 Comments on "The Style of your Church doesn’t Matter (Stop Judging)"


Adam, GREAT post, but wouldn’t it also be appropriate to say that Church style DOES matter in some circumstances?? such as, at a funeral or a baptism or a wedding you don’t want it to get to “show like” also with the Lord’s Supper. This article was very well written and I enjoyed it but still have some questions!

steve behrens

Exactly Adam when Christ is at the heart of the worship and the church, then the “style” will be perfect, if not no “style” will matter. Keep spreading the word brother!

I agree with Kate’s further comments, as well as Adam’s below. So I struggle with the title of the blog post, but not the overall sentiment. When a church utilizes a traditional style of liturgy (like mine) to facilitate worship, the leadership does all it can to carefully tend to the small details, prepare, educate and inform, and conduct the liturgy with openness and warmth so worshipers aren’t left feeling as though they just went through some “empty rituals” as Adam noted in his post. Style matters! When a church utilizes a more contemporary style and engages technology in worship,… Read more »
Karen Gibson

This is personally convicting as I am currently sitting here having critical thoughts about a Christian acquaintance. How is my abstaining from a particular outward behavior glorifying to God if inwardly I’m nasty and mean?! “I’m not like that person. They are bad. I am better,” is so unattractive and not after God’s heart. Thank you!

I agree one hundred percent. It does not matter where you attend if your heart is not in it. I grew up with the Lord’s Prayer in Germany and enjoy praying it in my native language along with everyone around me (it has the same cadence). I miss it when it is not part of my Sunday morning experience but I also try to be tolerant and pray it alone if I have to. I enjoy focusing on a stained glass window when listening to the sermon but I don’t have to if it is not there. A great sermon… Read more »