Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Praise and Worship Service Styles


Recitals. No spontaneity.

Often in darkened cathedrals.


Set-pieces. Hymns. Including Gospel hymns and songs and choruses.

In denominational style buildings toned-down a bit from the cathedrals, and in crusades and outreaches.

Pentecostal Revival

Spontaneous. Congregation-led. Usually known songs, but sometimes new and spontaneous. New songs with Pentecostal themes. Singing was seen as just one of other manifestations of the Spirit which took-place congregation-wide spontaneously throughout the whole meeting.

Meeting in venues with no importance placed on decor, and no stage.

Post-Revival Pentecostal

Leaned somewhat towards the Evangelical style, included brackets of songs; less towards the Revival style, less spontaneous, less congregation-led. Along with it was a decline in revival-type expressions of the Spirit.

Met in toned-down buildings similar to Evangelical churches, with a stage.

Latter Rain/Charismatic

Renewed the Pentecostal Revival style, blended with the Evangelical style - and with spontaneous congregational singing - singing in the spirit; and dancing; spontaneous congregational responsive worship; seen as facilitating other manifestations of the Spirit which usually had their bracket in-between songs, or more often in prayer-line ministry after a sermon.

Met in churches of all denominations, in homes, in public venues - and buildings had a brighter, livelier, contemporary feel, with a stage - but the stage was seen in a facilitative rather than entirely dominant role.


Developed by second or third generation Post-Revival Pentecostal young adults in churches which had not thoroughly embraced the Latter Rain/Charismatic movements.

Secular style, rock, smoke screens, lights, stage-led, congregational spontaneity and other manifestations of the Spirit not so much a feature.

Auditoriums darkened, designed to feature the stage-presentation which dominates much more.

The River move

Although some new river-type songs were written, the initial movement wasn't characterised by any new approach to music in services, except to allow congregations to experience prolonged times under the Spirit, like in Pentecostal-Revival times, with music taking more of a background role. Using music in a facilitative role more often got in the way.

They met in churches of all denominations, and in public venues. The decor of their meeting-places didn't matter to the experience. The move of the Spirit happened congregation-wide, either in their seats, or seats were removed and space was made for everyone at the front.

Neo-River groups

Extensive brackets of soaking-type songs. Seen as facilitative of River-type work of the Spirit in a meeting. Music tends to dominate more than it did during the initial years of the River move.

Consequently buildings have a stage, the stage dominates much of the services, and buildings often have the Contemporary church secular-type style.

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