The church phone rang on a recent Sunday morning. The woman on the other end of the line was inquiring about our corporate worship gathering.
"It starts at 11:00 AM, right?"
"That's correct" I responded, sensing a little hesitation in her question.
"And your service," she continued slowly, "is it contemporary or traditional?" I figured since she had the time of the service right, she already knew the answer to the former question and it was simply a lead-in to the latter question, the point of her call.
"How would you describe ‘contemporary'?" I asked, attempting to diagnose what she was looking for, and seeking how I might find a little common ground in this conversation with someone I'd never met. (I wasn't trying to be difficult. Our worship style is more "contemporary" than some. [We sing a number of songs that have been composed in the last fifty years, relatively new within the scheme of Christianity]. But our worship is less "contemporary" than others. [We do recite the creeds with some frequency, we don't use an abundance of visual technology, and we do occasionally sing a Wesley hymn, "Amazing Grace", or other hymns composed before 1900].)