GPS Worship for the 21st Century
Convergence 2004 – Global Positioning for the Soul
By: Bill Easum
The metaphors of National Park and Jungle lay an excellent foundation for how effective congregations will approach worship over the next few decades.

Consider the differences between National Parks versus the Jungle. Everything is neatly laid out in the National Park –roads, rules, where to park and where to run or hike safely. Not so in the Jungle. You do not need your own personal GPS in the National Park but you better not attempt the Jungle without it.

In the Jungle the majority of people is not growing up in an institutional church setting; are mentored more by their peers than their blood relatives; do not have any set of clearly established rules of behavior; and are not coming from Europe. In the jungle community, experience, speed, companionship, character, and sense of direction are essential.

Nowhere is the jungle more pronounced than in worship. People are worshipping and will continue to worship in ever changing erratic patterns. For most of the 20th century the growing edge of worship was orderly and middle-of-the- road to liberal. At the end of the 20th century the growing edge experimented with new styles of worship and theology decidedly went conservative.

Now we are witnessing another shift. The issue today is not whether it is liberal or conservative, orderly or not, but whether or not it celebrates the incarnational act of God in Jesus Christ in such a way that people are ecstatic and transformed.

Consider the differences

National Park Jungle

Duty Joy
Contentment Ecstasy
Information Transformation
Doctrine Experience
Heritage Community
Reverence Hope
Tradition Indigenous

It is our belief that the gap between what was and what will be in worship will continue to grow ever wider over the next two decades. Are you ready for it?