So, as you can see, the organ has some serious image problems. And, as something that has developed over an extended period of time, it will take some time to reverse this decline in esteem within the musical community. Although every situation has its mitigating circumstances, for the most part organists and organ builders have been largely responsible for their plight through their self-induced isolation and intransigence.
Now, it's granted that in the past the organ's principal function has been liturgical; and it should continue to furnish this vital commission for the church in the future. Nevertheless, as the world becomes more secular, and with the church relying more and more on pandering through lowest common denominator pop music in its desperate quest for increased numbers, the organ has become progressively marginalized. A definite imperative is required here in order to make the organ and organ music vital to the church again. Needless to say, that won't happen if we continue to produce organists who are themselves marginalized by means of this continued refusal to apply an imaginative, extroverted approach to liturgical music. Like it or not, people nowadays want to be entertained.
With that in mind organists, if they are capable, have the opportunity to accomplish what no guitar player, drummer, electronic keyboardist, miked singer, any cheesy combination thereof, or even a classically trained pianist can do: and that is, both viscerally excite (entertain) and legitimately move the spirit through the power, dynamic and colouristic versatility of the instrument at their disposal, even if it's only a seven rank Estey. But organists have to — they must — come out of that shell if the organ is to return to its rightful place as the primary non-vocal musical instrument of worship.
Notwithstanding, the organ world needs to come to terms with reality and look beyond the church. For the larger classical music audience greater focus on the organ as a concert instrument needs to be done. However, that can only be achieved with the kind of training that instills in the organist that fearless passion and desire to communicate to an audience with which other secular concert musicians are imbued. Nowadays modern technology has made the ability to focus on being primarily, even exclusively, a concert organist much more feasible. A serious organist can now purchase a good two to three manual authentic sounding electronic organs for roughly the equivalent of a quality upright or baby grand piano. Even the speakers are less problematic since technology has greatly reduced the size needed to effectively produce the low notes for the pedal. More and more an aspiring concert organist will become less and less dependent upon the kindness of clergy and ignorant, petty church committees or administrators and territorial organists to be able to practice regularly. As serious music in the church dies, the organ does not have to die with it.