Joined On: December 1, 2009
In many ways, this on-line conversation is a bit like the classes I teach at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, and the learning events which we sponsor at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship: it connects people from a wide variety of congregations, cultures, and nations eager to explore how corporate worship services can most faithfully bring glory to God, build up the body of Christ, and create space for hospitality for all kinds of people. My own journey has been shaped by the CRC congregations that I have been a member of in Holland, Minnesota; South Bend, Indiana; and East Martin, Holland, Jenison, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. I’m also grateful to have led music or preached in CRC worship services in probably 15 provinces and states. Presently, I am one of several people who take turns leading the intercessory prayers in my church. Along the way, I have studied the history, theology, and practice of worship at a number of educational institutions. Today, some of my learning about worship continues to emerge from studying the Bible, learning to understand theology and history, and discovering new music and art. A lot more of my learning happens from people involved with worship in local congregations: pastors, musicians, artists, and worship committee or team members—as well as in worshiping communities that gather on military bases, hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, campus ministries, Christian college chapels, and seminary chapels. Still further, there is a lot to learn from people who have never thought about preparing or leading worship, ranging from parents at soccer games to people sitting next to me on airplanes who are curious about some of the books or music I may be looking at. My prayer is that this on-line conversation will be a place that generates a contagious energy for nourishing, strengthening, and deepening worship in all kinds of places.