School of Music


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)


R. Scott Connell


worship, cultural relevance, contextualization, syncretism, idolatry, North America


Liturgy and Worship | Missions and World Christianity


n the early decades of the twenty-first century a new model of worship has begun to emerge in some North American evangelical churches. Significant events in North American church history combined with cultural ideologies inherent to the North American context have influenced particular churches resulting in new worship practices. Churches that are affected are often marked by the development of highly affective worship experiences, the production and consumption of goods, the involvement of the worship team in marketing, and an elevated use of technology. In examining the cultural values at work in this development, this study found a historical thread that has worked to redefine the worship service as an evangelistic meeting and the cultural values of pragmatism, consumerism, and technological progressivism to be the primary drivers of change. This qualitative study sought to identify the cultural values at work in some North American evangelical churches and some of the definitive characteristics found in churches within the new model of worship. It then sought to examine the intersection of these two inquiries in order to ascertain the level of influence of cultural values over worship practice in the emerging model of worship.