The Seven Styles of Morning Worship

Broadly speaking, the contemporary renewal of worship in the Western world can be classified as follows: (1) liturgical; (2) traditional Protestant; (3) creative; (4) charismatic; (5) praise-and-worship tradition; (6) convergence; (7) the seekers’ service/believers’ worship pattern.

Liturgical Worship.
This model of worship is found among the oldest churches—Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran. A strong emphasis is placed on the Eucharist.

Traditional Protestant Worship.
This model of worship is found among groups of Christians that are able to trace their historic roots either to the Reformation era or to reforming movements among Protestant Christians prior to 1950. This includes mainline denominations, evangelical denominations, holiness denominations, Anabaptist denominations, and independent churches. A strong emphasis is placed on the Word. However, most of these groups are being affected by the liturgical renewal and are returning to a model of worship shaped by the early church and modern concerns. This model, often called the ecumenical model, is characterized by a fourfold shape—Acts of Entrance, Service of the Word, Service of the Table, Acts of Dismissal.

Creative Worship.
The creative model of worship is perhaps better considered a modification of any of the other models than an independent model. Creativity has always had a part in shaping any given worship experience, but its current manifestation is more far-reaching than ever before and can be found among both small and large churches, mostly of independent origins. These churches seek to contextualize worship to the masses, draw heavily on the arts, and have strong appeal to the post-Enlightenment generation, especially the baby boomers. More traditional churches exercise creativity within the bounds defined by the tradition, but that often leaves much room for creative expression. Creative worship also often involves a church rooted in one model borrowing elements from another model. The extreme of this kind of blending merges into the convergence model.

Charismatic Worship.
The charismatic tradition of worship, which has emerged since the middle of the 1960s, is a phenomena that attempts to recapture the worship of the New Testament church, particularly that of the Corinthian church 1 Corinthians1 Corinthians, ESV  Version 2 of the ESV API has been discontinued. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please contact the developers of this app and ask them to update to the latest API version. Thank you for your patience. . It emphasizes the Spirit and the role of the gifts in worship. While there are particular charismatic groups, the movement itself has affected the worship of nearly every denomination.

The Praise-and-Worship Tradition.
The praise-and-worship tradition of worship is a phenomenon influenced by the charismatic movement of the sixties. It places a strong emphasis on music, involvement of the whole person, and healing. It enjoys a strong following among post-Enlightenment-oriented people, especially those who desire a free-form participation in worship.

The Convergence Model of Worship.
The convergence model of worship is an approach to worship that draws on all the traditions. It seeks to achieve a balance of Word and Table, draws on liturgical resources, and incorporates the arts and music from the praise-and-worship tradition. It is an emerging worship found in nearly every denomination.

Seekers’ Service/Believers’ Worship.
In this style of worship a distinction is made between a service of outreach (evangelism) and the worship of the community of faith. The seekers’ service replaces the typical Sunday morning worship, whereas the believers’ worship is conducted during the week.