Open Doors, Open Minds

Mass has forever undergone a series of transformations, simple ones such as the priest facing the audience during mass, to more extravagant additions like blaring music and dance. This week, two presentations stood out to me, Shared Parish and Reinventing American Protestantism. One more than the other showed how traditional practices are changing in order to better engage the audience by appealing to different demographics of people based on either generational upbringing, or ethnic background.

Reinventing American Protestantism displayed perfectly how church has changed traditional service in order to engage a different generation of people. The new energetic movement of the uprising protestant church directly target the baby boomer generation in every aspect of its mass. Key attractions of the new style of mass are, reduced structure and a new age approach to delivering the sermon. The reduced traditional structure of mass includes expressing passion and one’s love of Jesus through loud music and lively dance rather than sitting quietly as a priest delivers the sermon. The preacher himself is not bound by traditional dress or lecturing styles. As the video presented depicted, the preacher has full creative liberty. These new programs have become increasingly popular and have grown substantially because of how appealing they are to the different generations.

In Shared Parish traditional mass in the United States has evolved to appeal and included those of different worshipping and language backgrounds. The anonymous parish reflects several across the country that have adapted, sometimes under contentious circumstances, to the increasing population and growing communities of immigrants.

In order to maintain its presence, churches must continuously adapt their appeal to keep membership. The two presentations this week show how just a couple of churches are adapting to the new age.