Monday, January 07, 2008

Questions On Worship

First off,
Sorry for the absence in my postings. Rest assured that I have been keeping a journal and will be back on a normal blogging schedule soon. The holidays were hectic, but wonderful. I always hate feeling like I am pushing soo much family into a short amount of time, nevertheless, It is always a joy and a blessing to see my wonderful family.

Alison and I also got away for 3 days to a cabin @ Pilot Mt. It was some much needed time that Alison and I got to spend together away from our hectic schedules. I also have done a lot of reading and even more reflection and thinking about many things. Some of those will result in blogs, some are concerning direction and some other big decisions in my life. Much prayer is appreciated! I came home with a slightly clearer head than when I left, and that in itself, is priceless!
OK, so on to today's topic. Since I lead, organize, prepare, and execute (with a great team of creative and wonderful people) a Creative Worship Service, I've been thinking a lot about Worship the last 5 or 6 months and what it means. As you can see from the picture above (provided by our friends @ ASBO), there is a struggle that I feel when trying to get to the roots of what worship is and should be, not just theologically and (more often) theoretically, but also in practice.
Most worship services look something like this (with minor changes):
Congregational Music (type depending on the church/service)
A Prayer (maybe 2)
Scripture Reading
A Sermon (usually the central part of the service)
Choir/Special Music
Now that's a bare outline, but It spans most every worship service I've been to. The common denominator is that with the exception of the congregational music, there seems to be little to no community/Congregational participation. Now I know every once in a while (more often in some churches) the kids will sing, someone new will do a solo, be the scripture reader, participate in a skit, and do a reading/litany. But these seem to be in most churches the exception rather than the norm.
We try hard in our service to find ways to get the WHOLE congregation involved (more than just singing) as much as we can in addition to having individuals involved with dance, reading, acting, etc... That is a conviction that the whole planning/lead team has about this service, and the direction that we are wanting to continue to grow.
However, the mentality of the cartoon above is something that I see in most churches in regards to the worship services. "What do I get out of it?" "What's in it for ME?" Somehow we've made worship more about us than about God! Indeed, leading music, it is hard to find songs (both hymns and praise and worship music) that is not about me/us in its lyrics! To me, worship is what we give back to God. We receive from God, and ask from God, every other day of the week. Shouldn't that (at the least) that 1+ hr. we spend in "worship" each week be about what we can give to God? And that's the struggle.
I am a teacher at heart. I love to teach! But even I question how central teaching has become in protestant worship services. I could understand if there wasn't Bible study, Sunday School, Small Groups, etc... offered and all the church did was this one event each week, but churches have multiple (and I would argue better) teaching outlets than Greek Rhetorical/hermeneutical approach that happens in "worship services". Having studied Education, Philosophy, and psychology... the hermeneutical approach to teaching is usually one of the worst ways to impart information... not to mention that imparting information and education is NOT equivalent!
Now I'm not just talking about preaching, I have nothing against preaching. As a friend pointed out, we have paid money to go listen to a person speak for 2 hrs. I personally love preaching. The issue here to me (rather the question here) is is there a place for teaching in "Worship"? We've made it a place (especially in the 20th century), and yes, there are biblical examples of teachings happening at a "gathering" (not always intended to be read as a "worship gathering"), but a lot of what we have in our traditional and even contemporary services comes from a Greco-Roman approach that was used to best communicate and match the Hellenistic services for the newly converted gentiles.
What if we took teaching out of worship? What would worship look like? It might be less consumerist. It might end up being more about God than about us?! I'm not sure. Just some thoughts I've been having. Teaching is important!!!! Please hear me say that. But what if we spent more time making sure that solid education happened in better atmospheres (be it small groups, Sunday School, discussion groups, Wed./Sun. Night Bible Study, etc...) and then made that one hour a week solely about God and us giving back to God??? What if that became a discipline of the Church? What would that look like? What message would it send? Who would it reach?
IDK, these are VERY raw thoughts. I don't need anyone getting on here and telling me I'm wrong and being mean about it! I surrender to the fact that I am just trying to rethink worship and what it means, is, and perhaps, should be! I am in no way trying to devalue or attack the modern approach of a "worship service", instead I am asking questions in search of a better understanding! However, I would cherish any comments, conversations, and constructive thoughts that any may have!
Worship: What are your thoughts?


  1. Hey Justin,
    As always, thought provoking stuff.
    My question what end are we going to church in the first place?
    I think that there are MANY that would answer that they are going to hear the preaching/teaching and that the worship is a nice addition. So what of that?

  2. jeff,
    A great question that I have discussed inside the terms of this issue too! I think you're right many people come to church (meaning sunday worship)EXPECTING to hear a sermon. A disagreement my former pastor and I had over whether EVERY worship service should have a sermon proper in it...even a youth sunday.

    I think a lot of it comes down to laziness (on both the church's part and the people) and conditioning.

    Conditioning: We've always done it that way, thus that is the way it SHOULD be done. Is this proper grounds for determining the teaching aspect of the service? Again it goes back to the worship being about God, not about us?! We (the Church) has taught them that that is what a worship service is. Something that I think can be un-taught.

    Laziness: many people show up ONLY on sunndays for that service. It meets their "Quota" or "church" each week. The church feeds into this (and thus perpetuates it) by providing teaching since "that's the only time we can get them in the doors". What if teaching was purposfully done at other times. People would feel like they're only getting half of church. It's not that the ch. is neglecting the education part, it's just separating it. It might just be that denying those people the feeling of "quota fullfillment" might "get them in the doors" at times when education can be more effective than in a single service.

    Now it must be mentioned that I personally believe that ANYTIME worship happens, learning happens! The absence of the teaching aspect in the service DOES NOT mean the absence of the learning aspect. Perhaps the difference is who's doing the teaching. Perhaps not the pastor, worhsip leader, etc... but instead God through the Holy Spirit?

    Again just some thoughts...and would love more of your feedback! Thanks for bringing up the next logical questions. These are the thoughts I've come up with on that subject, but as with the post, these too are still thoughts in progress.

    as always, thanks!

  3. Great points Justin.

    I honestly think preaching takes away from the actually act of worship. It's "let's talk to God" for the first half and then "listen to someone talk to you" for the second half. I think teaching should be relegated to Bible Studies and things like that. However, I don't know that most would ever learn this way due to laziness.

  4. I'll be honest. I think you guys are way off on this laziness thing.

    However, I think you're onto something with the conditioning. People expect it to be that way and are unhappy when it is not.

    I go back to my question. Why do we go to church in the first place?

  5. I'll concede that perhaps laziness is perhaps not the best(although I won't say an incorrect) word to use broadly. Allow be t back up and retrace a second and see where that leads by being more spicific. I'll use Jeff's question as a jumping point.

    By, "who do people go to church..." I'm going to assume we are still talking about "why do people attend a church's 'worship service'?"

    To be fair, I do believe that there are people out there that go for noble reasons. (I say noble because I don't want to say correct being that the issue of "what is correct worship" is a portion of the bigger question I'm asking in this post). There are a good deal of people that go to church because they truly want to worship, albeit in a conditioned state.

    That being said,
    I think that the cartoon in the post hits on a major issue in why people go to church services. The underlying question (and I'm sure that many people don't even know they are asking it) is "what do I get out of going?" The Idea that worship is about US and WHAT WE RECEIVE is a main factor in what prompted this inquiring post. so what do people go to get?

    Learning, knowledge, meeting some quota, self-help, guilt (both to relieve and strangely enough, to receive), assurance, social reasons, to be noticed, to gain/maintain power, to catch up on the latest gossip, to publicly tithe (because there is an anonymous way to give your money besides in the service), to hear a good sermon, to be entertained, to watch a loved-one perform, because it's what they've been taught is "right", peer pressure, to feel connected, to sing/act/speak/read, and many more.

    Now there are good reasons listed in there, but a lot of the reasons people go (at least speaking from the southern protestant church standpoint) is some sort of self-service. It usually isn't about giving back, but about getting. I think the reason I used the word "laziness" is to say that most people seem to go to church because this is the way they take in, or RECEIVE Christianity and it is almost completely passive. In the majority of the services that people attend, the whole service is set up so that the few (pastor, music leader, and the small amount of others that might be involved with a service) are actively imparting to those passively receiving.

    Again, I'm not saying that there we shouldn't get something out of a worship experience, in fact, I honestly don't think that it's possible to truly worship and NOT receive something from God! It's how we're made. I think my whole thinking here is that we ANY selfish reason for approaching worship is the incorrect motivation; for we can't give fully of ourselves when our focus is ON ourselves.

    I also agree with Chris in his application of the laziness and change. I've seen people that are opposed to the changes we've made to begin a truly Creative Worship Service...hopefully transitioning more away from a self-centered focus of worship to a God-centered focal point (over a VERY long transitional period). But I've seen those same people who are hesitant, become some of the biggest supporters of this new kind of worship approach.

    However, change is always hard, and a God-centered worship requires more out of EVERYONE involved. And I think that what Chris is hitting on (correct me if I'm off here), is that given a chance, your average Joe Laity will chose the EASIER approach to worship over the HARDER approach, even if the harder approach is a better way to understand and do worship. Don't get me wrong. Conditioning plays a HUGE part in that statement...but it is usually never one simple reason that anyone does anything. Complacency goes right along within the conditioning factor. In-fact, I wonder if part of the problem is that the Church (esp. in the 20th century) has conditioned this perpetual complacency?

    IDK, Jeff, again, I'm not claiming to KNOW all of this...and perhaps I've been in more churches where people seemed more lazy than is true for the majority of churches. I'm not arguing against you, just helping to flesh out my thoughts on this more.

    Can I say that your statement about conditioning and expectation is hauntingly dead on to my thoughts. How do we get past that?

    Or maybe first I should turn your question back towards you because I am interested in your take: Why do people attend worship services?

    thanks to both of you,
    I hope that more will jump into this conversation. I am enjoying it greatly!


  6. I apolojize for my many typos above, I wrote hastily!

  7. My friend Bill posted this response on my facebook note. I thought it worth sharing here!
    I've been there many times - sometimes as the person sitting in the pew and often as the pastor standing in the pulpit. Conclusion: worship - whether the music is contemporary or traditional, sermon - whether pop psych or expositional, building - whether stain glassed or warehouse, isn't the real issue. It is really about where the heart of the people are long before they walk in the door. The worship leader and the pastor can only do so much as instruments in god's hands to open the hearts of people. Each individual must take responsibility for their own walk with the spirit. The Spirit isn't found at church, but brought there. When all who arrive for corporate worship come with the joy of Christ on their hearts, those visiting for the first time will 'feel' worship - whether or not the music or the preaching is good or not. Worship is not a matter of man's excellence, but of God's presence. The presence of God can be found in the least 'expert' among us.

  8. I don't think I've had enough seminary classes to join this discussion (backhanded compliment :))

    I think that most people go to church because they feel like they should, whether from conditioning by parents or for their kids. The other reason I'd say that people go to church is for comfort. That could be comfort in knowing their guilt (sigh), or comfort that there is a God out there that is in control of things.

    Being a more cerebral person than an emotive person, I've always looked forward to the sermons in church because it gave me the opportunity to be taught and reflect and think about what the things that were being said might mean.

    As far as "worship", in the corporate music/dance/joint experience that you are discussing, I always found it to be slightly superfluous because I didn't feel that I needed it to connect to God. I was disturbed by many of the songs because they either reflected a emo/bff love with God, or a high and mighty God who would crush you like the 2007 Patriots. Both of these are certainly parts of God's hypothetical character, but I found myself bothered by the inconsistencies in song lyrics, rather than "getting enveloped in God's presence".

    I think this worship debate may be something for those who are more intellectual than me on the topic.

    BUT I will say that to me, worship is not about how a church service is done. Worship is living a life where I am constantly aware and in awe of the beauty of the Creator, both in the natural surroundings (and the things that man has conceived from those surroundings) and in the persons who are present in my life. If I stand in awe and see God's presence in all those things, then I am worshipping God.

    And I just don't really care whether we sing "All Creatures of Our God and King" on Sunday morning.

    But maybe that makes me lazy...I dunno.

  9. Jeff,
    You've hit on where I am going with this EXACTLY!

    Worship happens in different people in different ways. I don't think it's as much about what we do as the spirit in which we approach it. You said you didn't connect with dance,music,etc... but some people do. Even more importantly, that's how some people express their PRAISE/WORSHIP to God, by expression THROUGH the gifts he has blessed them with.

    I agree that "Praise" music (Be it Hymn or P&W) is lacking. But what if there are people with the musical gift who feel free to write music to express their REAL thoughts and feelings (as opposed to the light fluffy Chruch-approved music) as an act of worship.

    You say worship is about "connecting with God" in some way shape or form. I can agree with that definition. My question then becomes, "if people connect with God (worship) through many different avenues, then why are our WORSHIP services centrally focused on one, perhaps 2 avenues?" Instead of exploring and allowing people to experience different connections of worshipful experiences, we are sitting them in pews/chairs and forcing them to connect/worship in a few static/specific ways. For those that don't find connection say through music, we aren't offering much of an alternative in our worship. Ali is neither a big musical person, nor does she learn through expository verbalized sermons. She learns and connects through DOING. There is not much "worship/connection" available to her in most services.

    Anyway, these thoughts and this post was meant to challenge the idea of corperate worship. I like what Bill said, and he has said more on my note on facebook that is thought-provoking. Jeff, in truth, I think that seminary has hurt me more than helped me in areas such as this. They still teach the modern institutional approach to Church in Seminary. I honestly fell that I am working to undo much of what they have conditioned me to do in order to help find perhaps a more effective way to do some things. That means questioning everything...even something as seemingly straightforward as "worship".

    Please know, your thoughts are welcome and insightful!! I always appriciate ANY voice in these types of discussions. There should be room for all to rethink what it means to be a Christian and church!
    thanks a lot my friend!

  10. The outline you put in this post of a church service almost fits the church at which I work- if you added one more hymn before the tithing it would be just right.

    What would a service like the one you described look like. Im not sure. Im guilty of going to church and EXPECTING to hear a sermon. Dont get me wrong- sermons are great things. But I feel that in some churches today many people- I'm including myself in this- walk away saying what the guy in the cartoon said. Now there are people in my church who would comment to me that the worship did nothing for me because I was not focused on God or I did not want it to- quite the opposite. I see so many- every Sunday- who stand to sing the hymns and since they know the words by heart they just stare off into space- they are daydreaming and singing at the same time! Where is the worship in that? And many times I find myself listening to a sermon where I am being told how to live instead of being given tools on how to figure out what God's will is for me to live. I love something my current pastor does for the communion service. We start off with the traditional hymns and things but once we get past the "choir special song" there is no sermon. We just do communion (and sometimes Baptisms.) I once asked my pastor why he does it that way and he responded that it is because he feels that important things like Baptism and the Communion have been thrown in to the melting pot with all the other things- they have become something we do because we expect to do it not because it is an act of worship! I yearn for a service- sermon or not- that speaks to my heart- that fuels my passion to worship my creator! I find myself sometimes looking back on youth retreats and seeing that I may have taken the youth on them for my benefit just as much as theirs- to be challenged in a worship service and to find fuel for my passion. What would that look like every single Sunday in my own church? Im not sure- but maybe it is time for another reformation of sorts- who knows?

  11. Lawrence,
    This is not the first time I've heard this statement, but even today at lunch I had an old friend refer to us being in the midst of a new reformation. Bishop John Shelby Spong as well as Marcus Borg have both been quoted as saying we are in or at the brink of a new reformation. I think it's an exciting (and very confusing place to be).

    I enjoyed your comment. I read it after you posted, but this is my first chance to respond. Another thing you said that is interesting is about going to youth services. being a former youth minister (for 10 years) I know what you mean. It's interesting that you say this and along with the comment my wife made tonight. The creative worship service I was hired to be in charge of is in jeopardy of becoming something less than the wonderful and impactful service that it has become because of lack of the flexibility that this kind of service requires.

    But as you know, a lot of creative things can go into a youth service, usually because people understand that youth learn through different styles, not just through the auditory learning style. I know that when my previous youth groups would debrief after worship services on retreats/trips, many of them would talk more about a skit, song, or testimony MORE than the sermon, although the sermon would touch them too, and for some be the highlight. The key: different things for different people!

    However, we seem to forget that concept with adults. Thus we have a completely passive and receptive style of worship that is compounded by our consumerist mentality. My wife said, you know, planning this service is just like planning a youth service/lesson. Just because people grow up, doesn't limit them to only one form of taking in and processing information. Sometimes we need to let them know that it's ok to get out of the pews and be active in the theme that sunday. This may sound silly, but our theme this sunday is "Authenticity" playing off of the idea of "Everyone Wears Masks". We are actually having the adults, youth, and kids in that service come out of the pews and make masks. It really might sound silly, but people have given great feedback to this kind of stuff! Everything we do goes with the theme. We have a lady that choreographed a dance to Phantom's "Masquerade", we have a skit, the activity just mentioned, a testimony about times when I used to wear masks, an illustration using the Johari Window, and so on. There are tons of ways that a person can connect! It really does remind me of a great service at a youth retreat!

    That being said, I think we all (I know I am) are guilty of taking the consumerist approach to worship. A blog title caught my eye the other day (didn't get to read it), but it was called "Church Shopping Isn't Bad"! "Church Shopping" our language says a lot about our mentality.

    That being said, This post went to an extreme. The purpose was to take the passive, consumerist approach that is prevelent in many church worship services and propose the extreme opposite. I think that you and Jeff both have hit on what needs to happen practically. somewhere in between. I think that worship CAN be about us, but perhaps it needs to be about God FIRST! I think the key word here would be CONNECTION. What would worship look like each week in the ideal that we would be connected to God, worship him, and learn from him at the same time??? How do we MAKE SURE that happens? What would THAT kind of service look like?

    Question Everything... That's where I'm going with a lot of things about how we do Church right now. I'm very grateful that you all participated in this discussion. Please allow it to continue if anyone has more to add. I would rather spend more time on one issue than write 10 blogs a week!

    Lawrence, thanks for letting me reveal my underlying scheme in my reply to you my friend. Your comment was fantastic and I thank you for your input! It really is amazing how what you said has echoed twice through others in my day today!

    peace and love,

  12. Justin,
    Thanks for replying- I enjoyed reading your thoughts on my post. I like the idea your using for the service with the masks- it so appropriate for the church today. Some Christians need that boost of understand- that they live a facade everyday in their lives and exp. their worship. I hope that Spong and Borg are right- that we are on that edge. Ive been studying Luther and I really believe that something just as drastic as what he helped to bring into place may be needed in our worship. I think what is central is that God has not changed- he is the same as always and to worship him is just as simple as it has always been- if we but just worship him with our HEARTS. Thanks for keeping the thought provoking posts coming- I always look forward to a new one. Wish I could have talked with you more when your were @ OCBC.


  13. I'm not sure about this idea. I'm a worship pastor, so I feel your pain in wanting the people to worship, and have often wondered about the importance of worship when contrasted with the sermon (as if they're aren't both worship). But I've been coming to a different conclusion.

    For my, the weekends are all inclusive. People to come to church to get their quota and what not, because that's what they do. Rather, I am starting to view the weekends as just a part of the worship life of people. In my mind, the congregational worship time is a time for us to come together as one body, unified in song, scripture, prayer -what have you, and then the sermon is both worship (as long as it's actually biblical) and a worship prompter. It's something that should encourage people to go out into the world when the leave the 1 hour of being at church and go back to the 167 other hours they'll have in that week to live more christ-like lives.

    When we help people do this, and truly help them do this - not just think/hope that we're helping them - then we're helping the worship all week long. It's almost as if we're jump-starting their week with worship. We worship together, and then the sermon helps us go worship in our personal relationship with Jesus during the week, with our families and smaller communities.

    Just my thoughts.

  14. Moosemusicman,
    Hey, thanks for commenting.
    First off, I don't think there's an exclusively right or wrong answer to this. I think what's more important is asking these questions and the discussions that sprout up from them.

    I would say that there is a lot of validity in your ideas stated. I don't belittle that at all. I also think we are on the same page about inspiring the people to live out their faith the other 6 days a week (and that's giving the assumption that they are using their faith on the 7th day. Just because they're at church doesn't mean that they are worshiping, or living out/in their faith). I think the word we are looking for here is "inspiration". Hopefully something in worship has inspired them so much that they cannot contain it in a single day.

    I guess the fundamental question is, "What is Worship?".
    But there are smaller questions here. Now I'm coming at this from both a worship leader/planner and from a education POV. I'm not sure that a sermon is the BEST possible way to inspire. Auditory learning is the least effective way of learning in mass. Hence my question, why can't the learning be done (and be done better than it has been) at other times? Education focused on education/ spiritual formation and inspiration.

    I stated above that we hope that something in the worship inspires them to live out their faith, but lets ask another question. Shouldn't their spiritual formation/education inspire worship? Shouldn't the more they learn about God, the more they are activly building the Kingdom of God inspire true worship? Do we perhaps have our approach backwards. I'm not saying throw out songs, or scripture, communion, any of that. I'm not even saying throw out sermons completely... but perhaps my argument is to ADD rather than subtract. Add other elements to worship. If worship is not CENTERED around "teaching" (which is PRIMARILY done through a sermon which is a PASSIVE approach to both teaching and worship), but is centered around God...what new things could we do to worship?

    I guess my thoughts are that if we reverse the scenario of people coming to worship to be inspired (although I think that will still happen), to people coming already inspired to worship. We will see people use some amazing gifts and talents to worship God in creative ways. We will see dance, art, music, drama, etc... that we have placed into a contemporary service, but also we might see people building things, sculpting, planning, planting, conversing, praising, ANYTHING would be possible!!! On top of that, the possibilities that people will truly come together as a body...combining their creative gifts to create something new and wonderful, all for the Glory of God. They would be one body with many parts. Songwriters, for instance, could write songs (which I am not good at), while people like me could help play (guitar, drums, trumpet, w/e) and sing. And then the person's song that was written could evolve into something beyond even their own thoughts and dreams.

    IDK, I'm not saying "I'm right". In fact I'm probably not... but I am asking some questions that I think need to be asked.

    thanks again for your thoughts. I don't belittle them. I'm glad you shared and thankful for your part in the discussion! I'd love to hear any more thoughts!!


  15. A couple of thoughts:

    It's a nice idea to hope people will come already inspired to worship, but in my experience not very likely. We as worship leaders must do something in the first few minutes of the service (if not before) to engage them so that they will participate. Otherwise we risk oberservation (not always a bad thing). I would love it if people came prepared, but most don't. This is part of worship leadership IMHO. Most people aren't ready to go somewhere, they have to be led. And to lead someone, you must meet them where they are.

    My second thought is that in order to come to a conclusion on this topic, the purpose of the weekend services must be defined. Is it going to be a time for believers to come together and worship? Is it going to be a place for non-believers to come and hear the gospel? Is it going to be a conversation starter for people in small groups? Is it going to be an artistic expression of some nature that incorporates some of these.

    I think the narrower the focus for our weekend services, the more successful they will feel and be for us leading them and for the people coming to them. Because there are so many of them, I think they could change throughout the year. For a month do services focused on worship, for a month do services focused on teaching, for a month do services focused on outreach, for a month do a combination.

    Could teaching be more interactive? Could it be done in a way that encourages participation - especially with the technology available?

    Should there be another time for the people who are being inspired in their own walks could come together and express that worship, separate from the gathering for everyone from non-christians to mature christians?

  16. Moosemusicman,

    thanks for responding again!

    I think you and I are asking a lot of the same questions. I know the original post is throwing a lot of "new" things out there, but the extreme allows for some conversations. Usually what I post is more towards the "ideal" (as apposed to THE ideal") than the practical or even feasible. I think you hit nicely on this when you say, "I would love it if people came prepared, but most don't. This is part of worship leadership IMHO. Most people aren't ready to go somewhere, they have to be led. And to lead someone, you must meet them where they are."

    You speak about leading others, I think part of that is very true. One way we lead others (as you suggest yourself) is to lead them into new ways of worship/doing things. The problem with congregational churches is that we let the congregation lead us because of Ch. politics. That's not a shot at the church, just a reality. Along with what you say about preparation as a worship leader, I think this too is a responsibility that many leaders/ministers/pastors don't fulfill. I know I myself have failed in this area on several occasions.

    On defining the goal of worship/weekends. I like what you say a lot. I think goals and focus are two very key things to allowing worship to happen. We had topical worship services where everything focused on the topic of the service. It doesn't have to be topical, but that was FAR more effective (to me and to others who attended that service) than a cut and paste service where nothing is focused on anything. No theme at all, the hymns/songs, w/e of that service did not connect with each other element.

    Besides focus, I think the other point I really like that you hit on is diversity. Perhaps through experiencing worship in different ways, people will ultimately learn that all of life is about worship. Yes, I agree that a separate time of some "really out there" worship would be beneficial. Worship shouldn't just be during the prescribed time each week (for me Sunday mornings at 9:15 and again at 10:30...but other times for others). I think worship should happen all over the time. I think that the diversity in time and format (for lack of a better word) could possible reach those that may not be reached during the prescribed worship times...but also it would help teach people that true worship comes from some place deep within, and happens anytime, and in many different ways.

    Some very good points from the trenches! thanks for your thoughts, they are welcome any time!!!!


  17. I love new things. I love new ideas. And I love it when new ideas are used, especially when they are done for a purpose, not just because they're new.

    As leaders, part of our responsibility is to redeem culture. I'm not exactly sure how, but I really believe that there are many ways the church could be using technology to encourage people to worship throughout the week, and hopefully to come prepared to worship on the weekend.

    The great thing about the people who do come prepared to worship on the weekend is that their worship is contagious, this is great for the non-Christians in attendance. I think if we could get our people to truly worship, regardless of the form being presented, the curiosity of the non-Christians among us (hopefully there are some) will be much higher.

  18. "The great thing about the people who do come prepared to worship on the weekend is that their worship is contagious"

    great statement. I would say that ANYTIME we are truly doing something to bring glory to God and his Kingdom, people find that that it is contagious! Anytime we ALLOW God to be ACTIVELY present and involved in our lives the spiritual part within us; that winds through our very created being, other people are drawn to that. It's not piety, it's purity. It happens when things stop becoming about us and become more about God and others (greatest commandment).

    When someone is a part of something that pure, when another person is being who he/she was created to be, then we can't help but but be drawn to that. I think it hits a spiritual chords so deep that we can't explain it. To quote Boston, "It's more than a feeling," indeed it is something found in the very fabric of our being. When we see the purity of someone truly worshiping, truly serving...I don't care what your religious affiliation is, there is a spiritual resonance between you and the God that made you. Perhaps THAT is the point when we truly begin to worship...everything else (music, preaching, scripture, prayer, drama, stations, crafts, dance, etc..) is in its truest sense, simply trying to get one to that point! I'm not sure God cares WHAT WE DO to make that connection, as much as he cares about the connection itself.??!!

    IDK, just another thought to throw out there...but def. goes along with what you said about "inspiring others, preparation, and being contagious".