Here's a list of strange things that churches do which should be unpacked a little more.
I'm not saying they are always wrong in all circumstances, and I'm not going into why things are weird. And I am certainly not saying I've never done any of them. But with an older, more grown-up lens, they look so odd that the reasons behind them should be thought through a little more. Why? Since when? Who did it first? Was it a good idea then? What are the arguments against it? What would Rachel's mum think? (An excellent lens which doesn't always go the way you expect, annoyingly...)
In no particular order...
1. Prefer venues with no natural light.
2. Play background music behind liturgy, prayers, sermons.
3. Name one of the organisers the 'producer'.
4. Time services to the minute.
5. Think anyone 'on stage' needs to have their life in order.
6. Make any comments, publicly or privately, on any congregation member's sex life, in any way.
7. Have 'industry' awards.
8. Deflect all compliments to the Lord.
9. Think everyone speaking publicly in the church needs to have the same views.
10. Avoid Halloween completely.
I went to Hillsong in New York last autumn. I enjoyed parts of it, and found others difficult. I debate whether to unpack things I don't like online, fearing that I join the squad of the moaners, criticising from afar, forgetting that real people read things online and can be hurt. But in fear of being impolite and disrespectful, we can condone through our silence, people can read that as support, and there can be a lack of a rational voice amongst the challengers. So I'm not going to moan, but I'm going to raise things we do, and ask 'why?'
One aspect of Hillsong, which on Easter morning I realised my home church had adopted, was the underscoring of the spoken word. At Hillsong it was under the prayers and re-entered during the beginning-of-the-end of the sermon. At home it went under the communion liturgy. A bare fifth chord, perhaps a D, that never moved, on one of a Nord's less inspiring synths, under the communion liturgy which has been so carefully crafted and uses phrases like 'the memorial of our redemption'.
Why would anyone do this?
To hold people's attention?
To help people focus on words?
To make it feel it holds greater meaning?
To give it greater meaning?
Because God likes sustained fifths on synth keyboards?
Because people can't cope with silence?
I wonder why you think this is becoming a tradition?