It seems that there are three elements that help identify the “modern” church. One is a focus on music in worship. Orchestras, choirs, even drama with music are a must if a church is to appeal to today’s church goer.
Another is the preoccupation with the miraculous. People want to go to a place where God reveals Himself to the congregation through healings, tongues, and a sure vision and knowledge of when the end times are coming.
Of course the modern church would not be complete without the presence of women in leadership roles as pastors and evangelists. This reflects the status of women in the secular world and is usually the final proof that a church is truly a contemporary one keeping up with modern society.
As members of a New Testament churches these changes may seem a little discouraging because we believe that the Bible teaches us to only use vocal praise in public worship (Eph. 5:18-19); the end of miraculous gifts at the close of the Apostolic era (I Cor. 13:8-10); and male spiritual leadership in the church (I Cor. 14:34).
I suppose that because we hold to these positions we cannot be classified as very modern and it may be one reason why many who visit here often don’t return. Oh, they love the people and find the congregation warm and friendly, but just not “modern” enough for their needs.
Let’s not lose heart because of this. Remember that we’ve not been called to be modern, or old-fashioned for that matter. Our goal is to be faithful in every generation. When the Lord comes (and no one actually knows when this will be – Mt. 24:42-44) He will not be looking for the most modern church, He’ll be looking for the most faithful one.