We could be approaching a golden age of worship. Technology has the potential to make great music accessible to so many who could not share that experience in earlier generations. Instead, in many churches worshippers are becoming spectators, while worship becomes the task of experts, rather than the congregation. Some of this can be accounted for by the current trend to create a theatre atmosphere in church architecture (theatre seating, darkness, stage lighting, etc.). Normally, theatres and cinemas do not encourage audience participation. But the church is not an audience! The church is gathered to worship, not observe.
Architecture cannot be easily corrected, but there is much that can be done to remove the “performer-audience” disconnect. Kenny Lamm lists Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship. Article here.