Monday, July 11, 2016
A few thoughts about the Sunday worship service… I have always leaned more the way of experiencing God in serving others, than experiencing God in a worship service. It makes sense to me that faith is doing something with your life, more than it is feeling something on a Sunday. However I spend most Sundays every year designing and leading worship services with the express purpose of enabling people to better engage and experience God in worship. Here are some discoveries I have made… 1. My leaning is right! The entry into deeper, more experiential worship parallels the church’s involvement in reaching out and serving others. I saw this best in the Edenvale Methodist Church – the more we did, like run a soup kitchen, a nursery school, a hospice, or conduct the Alpha Course, the deeper our worship went, without even really trying to do this. They (worship and service) feed each other, like a never-ending circle, but I would start with outreach… 2. Modern songs using modern means are more likely to lead to experiential worship. Personally, I would keep the old with the new, and throw in some good old hymns with the contemporary music, but the fact remains the new music lends itself more to experiential worship. 3. A group leading the worship (the modern way, with vocalists, guitars, drums, keyboard, etc) are more likely to draw others into experiential worship than a solo playing pianist or organist. There is a place for solo items but the group dynamic seems to me to be more inviting and easier for congregational participation. 4. I am a great believer in perspiration before inspiration. On the same lines also in planning and structure before ad-lib what feels best on the day. So I am saying hard work, plan and practice first, then the freedom to change, be spirit led and flexible ‘on the day’.