Love God; love people.
This is the heart beat of our church and the reason we worship. We desire each worship experience to show that life is truly found in God. Our shared worship at Kerith is an experience of celebration and joy, an opportunity to give all we can to show our love for God. We want people to find a place where they feel comfortable to come as they are – with all the pain and hurts and loneliness they may be experiencing, but meet a Saviour who loves them and desires for them to find acceptance, forgiveness and grace in his presence.
Our musical style is loud and contemporary and most of the songs we use in our meetings are very current. God continues to do new things in us as individuals and as a community, and we love to express that in our worship by keeping things fresh and new.
Sometimes people ask the question why do we do what we do. Why bands? Why contemporary songs? Why do we worship in a mainly loud and upbeat style? I guess part of my answer is – well, why not!! I think it can sometimes be easy to focus on the lesser things and miss the most important thing. Our call as Christians is to worship God. Why? Because that’s what we were created to do; because he deserves it; because it should flow out from hearts of gratefulness.
Does the style of worship matter? Yes and no. I believe that Christians should be able to worship to any style song as long as there is truth in the words. What we do at Kerith on Sundays may not entirely be your cup of tea but our coprporate worship should be the tip of your worship-life iceburg – it was never designed to be your only opportunity to connect with God in the week. If this is the only time you worship and you hate electric guitars with a passion, you probably will be frustrated that it’s not what you would choose. I recommend getting some worship music you love for Mondays to Saturdays.
On the other hand I also believe style is important to people who have never set foot into church before; for people who are crying out to find answers to questions in their life, for those seeking someone bigger than themselves who will accept them and love them. I think style can matter to them.
I heard someone once say that our job as believers seeking to connect with non-believers is ‘to remove all obtacles except for Christ’. For us as a team, we want our music to be contemporary so it isn’t a barrier to people searching for truth. We choose to use language which is not jargony in our songs so that everyone has the opportunity to understand the theological truths they highlight. For someone who has never before experienced worship, hearing it in a musical style which is familiar will help them to not be freaked out.
Should all churches do what we do? Absolutely not. It is for every church, community, worship team to figure out what God wants them to do; who they are to reach and the best way to do that.