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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Finding Fresh Expressions of Convergent Worship

Rev. Brad Hoefs
As I leave overseas for a month I'm thrilled to have an entry to cover my time away from my good friend, Pastor Brad Hoefs (read more about Brad below). He runs WorshipOutlet.com, an exceptional resource for churches who want to use the best of contemporary worship while also reaching back to the touchstones of the foundations of our faith. 

I look forward to blogging more when I return. I have a lot to share about the practical implementation of worship. I can hardly wait to write!

I know you'll enjoy Brad. Read on and be enriched . . .  


You might call the German Mass that Dr. Martin Luther wrote in 1526 a “contemporary version” of the ancient Latin mass.  It was written not only in German but also used sing-able hymn tunes.  Luther took the five major parts of the mass, the liturgy, translating them into German and set each of them to a hymn tune to be sung by the congregation.  What Luther was doing was providing a new way for people to express their worship of the Lord.   Liturgy, which means “the work of the people”, got a new voice, a fresh expression, through the German Mass and it continues on today as many churches continue to offer fresh expressions of the liturgy in new forms for the “work of the people” today. 
 
There is a segment of the evangelical community that are more “ancient-future” in their approach to worship. They continue to format their worship services with elements of the liturgy. However, they desire to offer the expressions of those elements of the liturgy in new ways.  If you are one of those congregations then you know the weekly creative challenge of offering up various parts of the liturgy in new and fresh expressions of worship on an ongoing basis.  Of course, this challenge is even greater if you are in a medium to smaller sized congregation because your time is spread thin but the expectations are high.  However, today there are more resources available for creatively offering fresh expressions of the liturgy on a weekly basis than ever before! 

Creatively using video with a worship service can really draw today’s worshipper into the experience of worship.  Consider using a video as the call to worship.  There are thousands of downloadable videos online today.  There is a great video called “Welcome to Our Church” which is a good way to start a service. (http://www.sermonspice.com/product/38536/welcome-to-our-church-2011) They now have a number of versions of this video.  It really sets the tone for a service. 

You also might consider using a video instead of reading the Scripture.  In a liturgical service, usually the three assigned Scriptures for the day are read aloud.  It is quite possible to find various assigned reads of the Scriptures anymore in video simply by doing a Google search.  This is a great way to incorporate video into the liturgy.

Another way to use video- would be to create your own video for the confession of faith.  In addition, at the time of the confession of faith- the congregation is led in their confession of faith by the video, which adds not only the audio but would also be adding the visual aspects to the creed!  (A downloadable Apostle’s Creed video will soon be available from www.WorshipOutlet.com )

Drama and dance/movement are both great ways to give new expressions to the liturgy.  Drama can be something as simple as doing a reader’s theater type reading of one of the lessons for the day.  Or, using dance or some type of banner movement for one of the sung parts of the liturgy.

You also might want to consider subscribing to a service, which provides you with creative liturgical websites.  For example, WorshipOutlet.com provides creative worship recourses of all types.  One of the subscription-based services that are offered is called “Worship Alive Plus!” Each week a completely new thematic liturgy is offered along with both contemporary and traditional musical options and sermon notes.  This is a comprehensive resource and is great for those who find themselves swamped weekly with little time to be creative.  If you register at WorshipOutlet, you are able to download three services free.

Giving a fresh expression to the voice of people in worship weekly is no doubt work.  But, it is this work that so blesses the “work of the people”- the liturgy weekly that also blesses the body of Christ and the Lord Himself.  So, it is more than well worth the effort!



WorshipOutlet is committed to offering different types of worship resources that connect that past with the present through fresh expressions of worship.  The resources range from comprehensive weekly thematic services to simple sermon themes with musical options.  The resources are fitting for both liturgical and non-liturgical churches.  One of the offerings of WorshipOutlet is WorshipShare which is a free virtual filing cabinet where pastors and worship leaders can share with one another their best and most creative worship ideas.  WorshipOutlet: We do the work- you do the worship!

Brad Hoefs is the pastor of Community of Grace Lutheran Church in Elkhorn, Ne.  He and his wife, Donna, are also directors of WorshipOutlet.  They along with a team of writers provide hundreds of churches throughout the world with creative worship resources.  Brad us also the found of a ministry called Fresh Hope which a network of Christian support groups for those who suffer from mood disorders- and their loved ones:
www.FreshHope.us.  Brad and Donna have two grown children who are married and two grandchildren.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Blended Worship: What It Is, What It Isn't

In 2003, I was blessed to design a Blended (Convergence) Worship Service for Break Forth Canada with Dr. Robert Webber. It was a tremendous thrill to dig into the depth of historic worship expressions with a man of such heart, intellect and spiritual passion for worship. We recorded this on a DVD and CD called Break Forth Live (still available here). It included ancient creeds and forms with contemporary expressions.

While Dr Webber is no longer with us, one of his premiere students, Dr. Constance Cherry, has picked up the flag for his premise that worship can be both rich with traditions that have stood the test of time and passionate with contemporary expression.

This guest blog from Dr. Constance Cherry is rich with content and application. Read it and be enlightened. Apply it and be enriched.


Blended Worship: What It Is, What It Isn't

Recently I heard of a pastor who was trying to bring life and vitality to his medium-sized congregation's worship. He had become intrigued with "blended worship" and had experimented with adding some "contemporary" instrumentation and eliminating worship practices that might be considered too "high church." He liked the concept of blended worship and was beginning to implement it, yet he still had reservations.

He struggled with questions such as these: Are we trying to provide just enough contemporary flavor to keep people hanging on (and is that the idea)? Is it wise to be in the "middle ground" stylistically when it seems that some growing churches clearly line up at one end of the stylistic continuum or the other? Do we really get anywhere trying to be all things to all people?

The questions this real-life pastor was asking represent a certain view of blended worship that is very prevalent today. He assumes that:
  • blended worship is primarily a matter of fulfilling a certain quota of musical styles.
  • blended worship is essentially a matter of compromise in order to keep people happy.
  • blended worship results in generic services.
This pastor takes the same approach to blended worship that he might take to manufacturing a product. He thinks that following the instructions (having the right formula of hymns and choruses) will produce the desired results (new and improved worship).

Confusion of Terms

Perhaps the term blended worship contributes to the confusion. Blended worship has become the term of choice for what was originally developed as convergence worship. And for many pastors and worship leaders, the term blended worship suggests a focus on musical styles. So some of the core values of convergence worship have been lost through the prominent use of the vernacular term blended worship.

In simplest terms, convergence worship is "the coming together of historic and contemporary worship." It is a term associated with Robert E. Webber, professor, theologian, and worship-renewal enthusiast, who has developed a body of work articulating the premises of convergence worship. This convergence of the historic and the contemporary has its roots in the two renewal movements of the twentieth century, the liturgical renewal movement (in both the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions) and the charismatic renewal movement. Essentially, when these two streams wind their way toward each other and converge, the result is worship that holds the potential for greater authenticity through fidelity to the historic tradition and greater relevance through contemporary expression.
 
The pillars of convergence worship include:

  • a commitment to the historic fourfold order of the worship service found in Entrance, Word, Table, and Dismissal (which allows for an ordered encounter with God).
  • a commitment to the celebrative nature of worship based upon the saving acts of God (which allows persons to center upon who God is and what God has done).
  • a commitment to a broad range of musical content and styles (which forms an expression of the whole church both past and present).
  • a commitment to recovering the arts in worship (which encourages the expression of one's whole being).
Comparing Convergence and Blended Worship

Comparing the terms convergence worship and blended worship leads us to three discoveries.

First, blended worship has come to refer to musical style. Convergence worship, on the other hand, encompasses broader and deeper thought and practices.

Recently I spoke with a pastor who claimed that his church had two services that differed stylistically. One service was labeled "traditional" and the other "blended." When I examined the two bulletins, I noticed an interesting thing. For all practical purposes, only the musical selections were changed. The approach to Scripture reading, congregational prayer, sermon presentation, and all other worship elements remained the same in both services. This congregation had not achieved convergence worship.

Second, convergence worship does not see the practices of ancient Christian worship and the pursuit of contemporary relevance as mutually exclusive.

Expressions of worship that held meaning for worshiping saints of the past twenty centuries are either appropriate in their original form today or can be effectively recast in a contemporary manner. Either way, contemporary worship intentionally converges with the past not in order to maintain tradition but to celebrate the continuity of worshipers past and present.

In contrast, persons who are attempting blended worship are often concerned with programming a little something for everyone to keep all parties happy. Their choices are not between the historical and the contemporary per se, but between the perceived preferences of two or more generations of worshipers. There is a big difference between embracing the old and the new to alleviate worship wars and embracing the old and the new out of a theological commitment to celebrating the relationship of worshiping saints of every generation.

A good example of this difference between catering to worship wars and affirming the historical in worship is the way in which hymns and choruses are often blended. I have been in many churches that attempt a blended service by having a "set" of traditional hymns followed by a set of contemporary praise choruses (or vice versa). This could be an attempt to provide for the desires of one group while the other group waits their turn to sing the songs with which they identify. Convergence worship planners might utilize the same songs, but weave them into the service in appropriate places according to their liturgical function. In this case, the liturgy is served rather than the people themselves. The music then converges with the other worship elements in more meaningful ways.
 
Affirming the historical in worship does not require a congregation to repeat a set of ancient practices verbatim. Rather, embracing historic worship means:

  • demonstrating a willingness to share in that which the historic church has always found meaningful (and expressing these things in currently meaningful ways).
  • making our own contribution to the historic stream of worship. Our worship expressions then become woven into that which is "whole cloth," rather than a fragmented remnant torn from the original tapestry still under construction.
Third, blended worship, as it has been practiced recently, is producing rather generic services.

If we were blindfolded, would we know if we were in a blended Presbyterian service or a blended Lutheran service? To our frustration, blended services have left us in the generic middle ground because of this narrow interpretation of blended. After all, when anything is blended, the individual ingredients do tend to lose their distinctive characteristics.

Convergence worship, on the other hand, is a model allowing for a broad and deep practice of worship— one that reaches into the practices of the historic church but also prizes the distinctiveness so important in all of our various traditions. The goal of convergence is not to resemble other churches hoping to compete for worshipers, but rather to celebrate the God of the Tradition in ways that are meaningful for our tradition.

This past week I performed a funeral for a parishioner. As I was riding in the hearse to the cemetery, I decided to try to get to know the funeral director, whom I had just met. The conversation turned toward church, so I inquired as to his church affiliation. He replied, "Nazarene." Wanting to keep the conversation going (it was a long way to the cemetery), I asked, "How are things in the Nazarene church?" "Changing," was his response. (So far the only one with fewer words was the corpse!) Curious, I pressed on: "How are things changing?" Suddenly he became verbose—I had apparently touched a sensitive nerve. He answered, "So many of our churches have scrapped all of the things that are part of our tradition. If you didn't know better, you wouldn't even be able to tell that some of our churches are Nazarene!"

In practice, a Reformed convergence worship service would be noticeably different than a Nazarene convergence worship service, though both have the opportunity to bring together the historic and the contemporary. Both can effectively commit to the fourfold order of worship, the celebrative character of worship, the broad range of musical styles readily available for worship, and the use of the arts in worship. Yet they can do so in the context and the language of their own theology and history.

The difference between blended worship and convergence worship, then, is the difference between a product and a dynamic. Blended worship tends toward being a product because it is fashioned to produce a specific outcome. It is somewhat static, manufactured, pragmatic, and is likely to be disposed of when its function ceases.

If something is dynamic, however, it is alive, active, and moving purposefully forward in life-giving ways. Convergence worship holds the potential for providing dynamic worship. It is the coming together of many forces that converge in ways beyond our control. The effect cannot be predetermined. After all, the worship planner is not after a certain product that results in a calculated outcome for the worshiper. Instead, the worship planner seeks to create an environment of order, celebration, musical range, and use of the arts that reaches into the past and finds meaningful expression in the present. In convergence worship, one's own tradition comes together with the larger Christian tradition.

Help in Making the Shift

If someone wanted to make the shift from blended worship to convergence worship, how would they go about it? What concrete steps can be taken to reorient our thinking? To affect the worship service? Let me offer several simple suggestions.

First, consider planning a convergence worship with an element of worship other than music.

In what way can the historic and the contemporary come together with regard to prayer, for instance?
If the corporate praying of the Lord's Prayer has slipped away from your worship unnoticed, why not rediscover it? It can be reintroduced in a variety of ways: as a solo, as a congregational hymn in unison (several recent hymnals include it as a congregational song), with liturgical dance, in sign language, or (and especially) recited together.

Or consider using the ancient form of bidding prayer, a practice that holds the potential for great meaning in churches with a prescribed liturgy and in those of the free-church tradition as well. It allows for spontaneity, and at the same time it is wonderfully corporate.

Second, begin making a shift in mindset from blended to convergence by critically examining your order of service.

Does your bulletin resemble a program with a list of isolated events to be executed? If so, begin to think in terms of four large movements. Arrange the elements of worship that facilitate entering God's presence. Put them in an order that portrays God inviting us to worship and the people responding to this invitation with joy and praise. Then collect together those things that emphasize how God addresses us through the Word. Next give thought to how your congregation responds to the Word (through the Table, and so on). Last, take a look at the way in which you send out the worshipers into the world.

As you arrange the service in these four large movements, choose elements according to their purpose in that part of the service rather than according to which group of people they are pleasing.

Strive for variety and breadth, but do so on the basis of a theological commitment to the worship of all ages.

Third, reflect on distinctives that are unique to your tradition.

Which elements of worship are of great theological, historical, and practical importance to your tradition? Can they be expressed in new ways? Can they be employed in a different part of the service and still maintain their integrity?

For example, if an opportunity for corporate confession in the context of a worship service is an important distinctive, worship planners should discuss the different ways in which this can be done. Try alternating between historic means of confession and contemporary. One might involve a printed unison prayer of confession; the other might involve projecting images of the results of sin in our world and inviting the congregation to punctuate the images with a simple sung lament.

In order to be worthy, blended worship must be a full blend. So the next time you encounter the term blended worship, refuse to be limited to its narrow usage. Instead, remind yourself of the broad and beautiful potential of blending all parts of the service for the right reasons. Celebrate the convergence of the historic and contemporary streams. And open yourself to the many ways that true blending can occur.

MORE EXAMPLES OF BLENDED WORSHIP BEYOND MUSIC


Creeds and Confessions
Today, people making public profession of their faith are often encouraged to give a personal statement of faith, a testimony of what they believe. Historically, the church recited together on a weekly basis the summary of what we believe as stated in the Apostles' Creed or the Nicene Creed. Both ways of expressing our faith are important!
Do your children know the Apostles' Creed by heart? Look for regular times to recite the creed that binds the whole Christian church together.
Bidding Prayers
Bidding prayers (bid in Anglo-Saxon means "pray") refers to a historical form of intercessory prayers in which the prayer leader(s) interceded for the church, the government, the world, and all people in their various needs and callings. The list of prayer concerns usually ended with everyone reciting the Lord's Prayer. Churches today that encourage people to bring prayer requests may want to use the bidding prayer—-with its emphasis on requests that move beyond the local church—as a model.
Prayer Refrains
Sing or speak short prayer refrains between sections of longer prayers. To help your congregation remember the needs of those around the world, choose some of the wonderful simple prayer songs from other cultures. For examples, check out RW 52 (especially pp. 23 and 36), a theme issue on prayer; you'll find many other prayer ideas and resources.
Art and Symbol
Before the age of print, visual artists were important communicators of what the Christian community values. Again today, as we move into an increasingly visual culture, congregations need to consider the importance of beauty, color, texture, and especially symbol. One place to begin is to consider the visual impact of the communion table and baptismal font.
—ERB
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Copyright Dr. Constance Cherry. None of this material may be used in any form without express written permission
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Constance is Professor of Worship and Pastoral Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana where she directs the major in Christian Worship. Since 2000 she has served on the faculty of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies located in Jacksonville, Florida, traveling twice yearly to teach in the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies program. In addition, she teaches worship at institutions of higher education in several countries, most recently in the Master’s program at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit (Evangelical Theological Faculty) in Leuven, Belgium (2008 & 2010).   For more information, visit www.theworshiparchitect.com

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My "Liturgical" Journey: A Subjective Experience

Arlen & Elsa praying over the crowd at Break Forth Canada
A Critical Opening: When I use the word liturgy in the following entry, I am clearly not using it in the broader (and more accurate) sense of the word. Liturgy (leitourgia) is a Greek composite word originally referring to a public responsibility to the government carried out by a citizen. Liturgy now, in its context within Christian worship generally refers to the entire collection of services, orders, rituals, ceremonies, prayers, creeds, music, homilies, responsive readings, recitations, assigned scripture readings and other consistent elements used in public worship. Often, the form and content of these liturgies are prescribed from the ecclesiastical leadership. These are generally considered separate from private times of worship, devotions, meditations and prayers (although elements of the public ‘liturgical’ worship service may be used as spiritual aids).
For the sake of this blog I’ll use a narrower perspective. As most within the wider church body have a narrower understanding of the word liturgy, I’ll use that here. I’ll primarily refer to creeds, responsive readings, and other prescribed forms that most people think of when they hear the word liturgy.
So, with a humble request for understanding on every side of the interpretation of the meaning of liturgy, I’ll wade into the turbulent waters of this somewhat contentious issue and hope I don’t drown in the process. 
OK – here I go, without a PFD . . .
Before I write more about our next section on liturgy I want to share very personally the journey that I’ve been on with liturgy. You may be vehemently opposed to my opinion and I’m OK with that. Diversity of opinion is a good thing. You may also find that you’re in agreement with my opinion, even if only somewhat. 
Now, here goes . . . .
Aside from styles of music, the greatest worship wars have often been fought over the use of liturgy in worship.
I understand.
I’ve been on both sides of the debate. Although I grew up as a Lutheran, we were pretty ‘low church’ (informal). Certainly, there were creeds being said but we weren’t steeped in ancient traditions. 
As many Pastor’s kids do, I went through a period of rebellion in my teenage years. While my rebellion was more complex than many due to the violent death of my father when I was seven, the simple truth is that I was still far from God. 
When God rescued my heart and life I began a journey of trying to find ways to reach so many who had taken the same path as I had. Most of those who I had grown up with had left the church as they saw the church as irrelevant to their day to day lives.  
As the old saying goes, “The pendulum seldom rests in the middle.” And so, my pendulum swung dramatically against anything I perceived as irrelevant to the culture I lived in.
I invited spiritually-seeking friends to church and often watched their faces take on many looks, from bewilderment to boredom. This was not what I wanted for them.
I remember the frustration when one of my friends who was a new Christian was given a communion card to fill out with his name and then hand to the usher. To him, this was an admission ticket and he couldn’t figure out why he needed a ticket to go take communion.  
I saw many others who shook their heads in confusion over the Pastor’s robes and vestments, the constant choreographed standing up and sitting down, the use of multiple worship supplements, and the foreign Latin phrases. 
Frankly, I became angry at a church that, in my rather judgmental opinion, was so ingrown that it didn’t care about those who were outside of the church’s subculture.
My wife and I attended our church’s evangelism program which had as a grand finale to make a list of your friends to invite to church. Our church had moved from what I considered a very dynamic and diverse worship style to what I considered to be very formulaic, out of touch and seemingly devoid of creativity. (Yes, I was pretty harsh) The week before the “Invite Your Friends to Church’ service, my wife and I sat in the evangelism class where we were supposed to make a list of our unchurched friends that we were going to invite to church.
The result? The sheet remained blank. Not a single name was written down. There was not a chance that we were going to invite our friends who consisted either of pagan musicians or pagan businesspeople to any of our church services. It would have sent them running even faster from the church that sought to reach them.
I couldn’t possibly understand why a church would seek to drain personal creativity from their people. As a musician I knew that while you worked within certain restrictions such as key signatures, scales and tempo, freedom of personal and community expression was to be celebrated. Why some foreign committee would dictate all forms, acceptable lyrics, responsive readings and service orders to every church within the denomination, regardless of the context and giftings of the local church was beyond my comprehension. 
I met with our pastor, grilled him about where was he taking the church, and painful as it was, we left the church, never to return. I never yelled, carried on a tantrum, circulated letters or gossiped about the pastor.
And why would we?
He was a good man with one of the warmest pastoral hearts we had ever encountered. When my wife and youngest child both nearly died in a traumatic childbirth, he was one of the few who showed up at the hospital. Although we had profound disagreements on worship styles, we were never divided on the essence of the Gospel, a fond relationship or scriptural integrity.
Looking back, I know I should have handled things better. 
Although my wife and I ended up at a church where we had a better alignment in mission, and God truly blessed the church with staggering growth and outreach, I know that I was overly harsh in my views back then.
But then, I was on a mission. I had given decades to helping the church relate to the culture it sought to reach. I sought to make all music, visuals, verbal and written communication as contemporary as possible.  I preached it, I taught it, I promoted it.
And even though I was imperfect in my presentation, content and attitude, I saw many churches experience rapid growth after they hosted my workshops and then employed the principles I taught. I rejoice at what God did and continues to do.
Now, it’s a few years later. Have I experienced a complete revolution in opinion? Hardly. But perhaps I’ve experienced a realignment of opinion with more of my ‘liturgical’ roots.
But there’s something that happens as you grow older. You see passing fads. You observe the time warp of ‘80’s suits, ‘80’s haircuts and 80’s set designs on Christian television – even when it’s the 21st century. You watch flashes of fads in the Christian church that are often grounded in untethered emotion and questionable theology.
This changes your perspective. You long for something lasting, something that has stood the test of time, something that isn’t going to show up as the latest YouTube phenomenon.
You also realize that whatever form of worship you follow, whether high church or low church is far less significant on the spiritual growth of your people than their time wrestling with the scriptures personally and in small groups, following spiritual disciplines and surrounding yourself with honest accountability structures of people who will gracefully challenge you in your walk with Christ.
We each have 168 hours in a week. If you sleep eight hours a night (I know, I know, I’m also hoping to reach that goal some day), then we have 112 hours each week. To believe that the perfect choice of the perfect ancient creed or the perfect Chris Tomlin song within a single hour of a worship service will perfectly form spiritual health in our people is simply na├»ve. During the other 111 waking hours of the week, church attendees are facing a world that constantly bombards them with messages that are antithetical to the very essence of the Gospel message of God’s loving and grace-filled covenant relationship with His people. One hour a week will not cut it for our people, no matter the form.
It’s been said that one of the greatest reasons why we fight over form and content in our worship services is that this is the sole spiritual feeding grounds of most of our people in church. When you alter the singular one hour of spiritual nurture they receive each week, people arm themselves for the bloodiest of battles and will fight to the death.
Worship also has some pretty dangerous elements in it. True creativity is ultimately a representation of you as a person. It is an expression of your personality, experiences, feelings, thoughts, and opinions. The form of worship you are drawn to is an outpouring of all of those things. When you mix that with religion, it’s no wonder we have “holy wars” over worship forms. When you challenge someone in their form of expression you are often challenging their very essence as a person. It’s like a child holding up their best water colour finger painting and being told by their teacher than only acrylic on canvas is appropriate in the classroom because it is more authentic, traditional, historical, appropriate, relevant or ____________ (insert your choice of descriptor).  Then, when you baptize your opinions with religion you simply escalate the argument to a point where reasoned and respectful discourse flies out the window.
Further, if you as a pastor have sacrificed so much by attending the rigor of seminary and have bought into the hothouse indoctrination from professors who are seldom in the trenches of real-world congregational ministry that the form of a single one hour weekly service is a hill to die on which will ultimately define the theology of your people, you will stand with sharpened sword in hand against any suggestion of change.
Or, if you have bought into the all-consuming belief that all we need is a renaissance of multi-sensory, curated personalized emergent worship expressions filled with finger painting, touching, tasting, dancing and smells that overwhelm our olfactory senses to revolutionize the church, you may grab the very same swords others are wielding.
I believe that it’s not that simple and it’s not that complex.
In my opinion, the public worship service of whatever form you use only takes on character, depth and integrity when it is a communally-shared expression in response to the reinvigorating work of God’s Spirit that is happening in the life of your people the other 111 waking hours of the week.
As we look at liturgical forms and content, I don’t believe that this is a hill to die on.  
It is not a magic formula where just the right “eye of newt and toe of frog” combination are stirred together in the giant vat of worship service design to create a guaranteed weekly result, regardless of the ongoing spiritual life of your people.
As I have travelled the world, I have seen both profound spiritual immaturity and maturity in Christian churches expressing every form of worship. In fact, there seems to be little correlation between the style of worship service and the lived-out expression of the Gospel in the members. I know people who are sold-out on high-church, low-church, charismatic, conservative and every other form of worship service who have mud and blood under their fingernails from serving a needy world with hearts of humble, Christ-like expression. I’ve also seen the opposite of this from people who stand their ground on every form of worship.
Now, in closing, I want to clearly state that this doesn’t mean that content and form is not important. It is very important! An ongoing feeding of purely pabulum or solely sashimi will eventually affect the doctrinal distinctives of your church, which will ultimately affect the hearts and actions of your people.  
With that in mind, I want to write about “liturgical” elements that likely won’t transform but could enrich the worship life of your church.
Stay tuned . . . I promise to be more “inspirational” in upcoming entries. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

View the National TV special on Break Forth Canada 2011

You can view the Canada-wide TV special on Break Forth Canada. It's a concise 7 minutes long. Just click here.