Rev. Robert Rayburn writes:
But, that is true also even in the matter of congregational participation. The new contemporary service of American Protestantism is more a service to be watched by the congregation than even the traditional Protestant service of 30 or 40 years ago. I’ve been in many of those services and there is relatively little that the congregation does except sing some songs. There is music that is sung for the congregation with the singers in the front for us to watch as they perform; there is perhaps a drama sketch for us to watch; there may be a special speaker who gives a report or who is interviewed by the pastor, there will be in some of the more sophisticated services of this kind an elaborate and interesting audio-visual display going on during the music or the message, and there is a sermon. There is little prayer and what there is, is offered by a pastor. There is very little participation by the congregation. They are, by and large, spectators and the fact that more and more of them are sitting in theater style seats only confirms that impression.