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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Postmodern Worship: Worship Innovation in a Traditional Baptist Church
by McEntyre, Carol M., D.Min., Drew University, 2018, 75; 10982927
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this project was to explore what makes worship meaningful to people and to determine if postmodern worship could be incorporated into a traditional Baptist church’s worship in a way that would be meaningful to adults of all ages. For the purpose of the project, we defined postmodern worship as worship that is multisensory, experiential, enhanced with art, video or other imagery, is more participatory in nature, less clergy centric and word driven. In order to measure if postmodern worship was more meaningful, we ran a mixed methods research project at First Baptist Church in Columbia, MO; the research included the collection of both quantitative (surveys) and qualitative (interviews) data.

We designed a series of six worship services, which included elements enhanced with a postmodern style. After three of those worship services, we conducted surveys with the worship participants. We had them rank each element of the worship service based on how meaningful it was and we asked them a series of open-ended questions about the worship service. In addition, we conducted in-depth interviews with members of the congregation to determine what made worship meaningful to them and to further explore their experience of the postmodern elements in the worship services. After analyzing the data, our research revealed that the postmodern elements of worship were indeed more meaningful to members of the congregation.

During the project, we were not attempting to radically alter worship at First Baptist. Instead, we focused on worship innovation, renewing our worship by adding a more postmodern style to what we were already doing. This approach proved very successful. The congregation responded with enthusiasm and since the conclusion of the project, we have continued to utilize a more post postmodern style in worship.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Elkins, Heather
School: Drew University
Department: Ministry
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 80/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion
Keywords: Church, Multisensory, Postmodern, Religion, Worship
Publication Number: 10982927
ISBN: 978-0-438-70688-0
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