©Arlene R. Taylor PhD

 

In general, mainline corporate religious worship styles can be categorized into one or two broad groupings: services that emphasize and appeal to functions of the left hemisphere, and those that emphasize and appeal to functions of the right hemisphere.

Within those broad groupings there can be infinite variety in terms of emphasis, permitted behaviors, perceived rewards / punishments, and interpretation of theology and church dogma.

Note: it is readily acknowledged that many individuals prefer a personal and private worship style and do not attend corporate religious services. Personal and private styles may be as unique as the individuals involved. They may lean toward the type of activities represented by one or the other of typical corporate styles.

Following is a brief comparison of some characteristics of two broad groups of corporate religious worship styles.

 

Left Cerebral Hemisphere 
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  • Emphasize traditional-style services

  • Emphasize sanctification (doing, obeying, following church dogma)

  • Prefer anthems, hymns, and classical-style music, are often open to choirs, and may like to stick with time-honored instruments (e.g., piano, organ)

  • Services center around class discussions and preaching of sermons or presentations of homilies

  • May meet to be in charge and lead, achieve religious-worship goals, feel safe through following habitual schedules or rituals, offer needed services in a dependable manner

 

Right Cerebral Hemisphere
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  • Emphasize celebration-style services

  • Emphasize justification (being, trusting, accepting free gift of grace)

  • Prefer innovative music and a variety of instruments, and are often very open to nontraditional or unusual instruments (e.g., percussion, keyboards, synthesizers, uncommon stringed instruments, tambourines)

  • Services may include drama, stories, religious dance, and multimedia

  • May meet to connect with friends (e.g., collegiality, potlucks), please others, hone a relationship with a Higher Power, help others through service, use their talents (e.g., music, teaching)

 

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