James A. Smith sketches the major thrusts of post-modern thought and the subsequent implications for the church in his book, "Who's Afraid of Post-Modernism?" At the closing of the third chapter he includes an analogy between the church and Starbucks by Quinn Fox. Fox says:
At busy times an orderly (if slow) procession of the faithful crowd toward the counter: An order may be something like "I'd like a grande, non-fat, triple shot, 2 pump peppermint latte with extra whip cream." The money changer loudly relays the request. And one should not worry if the strangeness of the terms causes a stumble. The temple assistant mediates these early morning "sighs that are too deep for words" by translating them into flawless coffee Italian. The Barista (it even sounds a little like "priest") who feverishly prepares coffee drinks behind the espresso bar repeats the petition verbatim, as if by uttering the words s/he speaks them into being. At the more relational franchises, the customer's name will be attached to the order. When the brew is ready, complete in all of its uniqueness, the Barista chants the request once again, just to indicate that the unction is complete."
Starbuck's culture and language is an interesting and revealing case study for looking at a societies willingness to learn a language. Most people do not resent the fact that they are forced to use unknown language when ordering at Starbucks: rather, they submit themselves to learn the language because it is the language of a particularly appealing culture: dating, relaxation, relationships, discussion, escape, etc.
For many years I served as a worship leader in a variety of contexts. There were normative elements to the liturgy (gathering, song, offering, preaching, sending), but within the traditions that I was a part of, there also existed a great deal of openness and artistry. The danger and the temptation was always to make these "liturgical elements" appealing. Evangelism seemed to always be (consciously or subconsciously) a motivating factor for the design of the service. You need not look far to discover a massive number of churches (or churches with massive amounts of people) whose philosophy of worship is to make the service comfortable, relative, inviting, approachable, etc.
This mentality of trading in our story of the God-of-Israel-climatically-revealed-and-incarnated-in-Jesus-the-Messiah, in order to make it comfortable and accessible, actually faces its death of being the story of redemption, from death to new life. May we not "sell" or cheapen the story that we proclaim to more user-friendly/consumeristic/individualistic "experiences." May we be bold in using the language of the God revealed in Scripture, yet humble enough to live as if it is actually our story.