I put this in as a comment, but it was too long. Here is another response George.
I agree with you. I don't think it is meant to work though either, if we are open to unbelievers, we will serve them including providing them with words and understanding of whatever we do. I think we all spend too much time worrying about what other people are doing in worship though. The only person on planet earth I can control and ensure isn't singing glibly or whatever, is me. Having said that, you are most certainly right. But, the solution to me is ensuring I am not one of these.
Hype is a problem for sure too. Again, I prefer to look past this and humour them. I will be hyped as I feel I should be authentically and in the Lord.
I understand on emotion. In many cases it is a bloke thing too, we tend to resist emotion. That is what makes us blokes I suppose. But Jesus was not amiss to shedding a few tears and accepting the most outrageously emotional worship (esp. Lk 7). I note there too that the offering of the woman was probably proceeds from sin and a dreadful 'waste of money.' Yet Jesus cherishes it and delights in it and rebukes the unemotional Pharisee. It is also a Kiwi thing, a left over of our British 'stiff upper lip' heritage. Again, I think we should just delight in others who do this and meet God in our own way and not worry too much about what others are doing unless it is distracting especially to unbelievers who are beginning to think that they are mad.
Amen, it is about balance. Yet, again, we will never find balance because 'balance is a moving target.' I also note that the greatest contributors to the world are often imbalanced. There is a tension and struggle here.
I agree entirely that we are imbalanced away from introspection. The contemplative and emerging church movement is in part seeking to address this imbalance among other things. I celebrate that, bring it on. Bring back the retreats, the silence, meditation, quietness etc.
Then again, as we get older such things draw us, and we need to take care not to impose it on the young with all their enthusiasm and desire for razzle dazzle. We need to be with them, putting up with it, celebrating that at least they are worshiping God with an unguarded spirit. But we need to be there to meet them when they say, I have had enough. We can show them that there is another way!
Amen on the size of God. The problem churches have today is that they are struggling so much just to survive in many cases, that they are heading for the centre of the 'market' and seeking to find a 'one size fits all' way of doing church. Of course, there isn't one. We need churches that abandon size concerns and simply be as they are. But in a money world, such churches are simply unable to sustain themselves and die. They need to perhaps go back to homes and start again.
Forgive me if I am getting argumentative brother. I hear you. Let's keep talking!
On silence... amen! I am an activist and haven't aged or matured to the point where I enjoy it. But I need to and know it. I agree silence is one of those times we shut up and listen. It is then that we hear the voice telling us to go down to the south road, we do, and we meet an Ethiopian reading Is 53, and then we hear that same voice telling us to engage him, and we do and he becomes a Christian. We have lost the 'inner voice of God' for sure.
It is damn hard to hear that voice as the drums are playing! Hehehehe. As for silence as a skill to be taught. In this age perhaps above all ages that is true, at least in the city. The city is noise! The city is movement! The city is productivity. Sitting still, in quiet, in the presence of God, is a lost art! Learn it and teach us George.
No apology required at my end, we are seekers and we need to dialogue (great Greek word dialogizomai/dialogeo!).
Have you come across the teaching on worship of Donna Dinsmore. She teaches a course at college and is very much from an emerging contemplative stream. You can do it online. She comes here every year. I think you would delight in her approach. You would find a way forward there I am sure. Check out her website at http://www.donnadinsmore.com/. She is running a worship retreat in NZ in July: Worship Matters Retreat, Taupo, New Zealand, October 2009. You can email her at email@example.com. Not sure how you can sign up.