According to the collection of essays edited by Rodney Kennedy and Derek C. Hatch in Gathering Togther: Baptists at Work in Worship, a growing number of Baptists seem to be gravitating toward a more liturgical style of worship. As Associated Baptist Press reports,
A number of other pastors and scholars, some of whom penned essays for the new book and some who didn’t, say the growing missional movement in American Christianity may well be the catalyst for the spread of liturgical worship in Baptist churches.
Those experts also cite anecdotal and published reports that Millennials and other young people are gravitating toward high-church traditions, turned off by what they see as gimmicks and fads in hyper-contemporary worship.
And when it comes to Baptists, it may be catching on also because younger people aren’t hung up on the anti-creedal mentality that has long dominated the church.
Clearly, this movement has not yet achieved anything like critical mass, but there are signs that at least some churches are making peace with liturgical forms: Taizé worship, reciting the Psalms, liturgical responses, etc.
One piece that seems to be conspicuously absent in the ABP story (I haven’t seen the book) is the place of the Eucharist in all this. My hunch is that breaking us Baptists out of the funeral-dirge approach to the Lord’s Supper might be key in bringing everything else liturgical into proper alignment.
I would further say that we have an excellent model to follow in grounding Baptist worship in the rich history of Christian liturgy through work already done by the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia.