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Worship Leaders as Guides

As worship leaders we serve as guides. We can take the safe, pleasant, straight and flat path or we can chose something more challenging. The flat path is known and even relaxing; you can enjoy your environment without exerting much energy. The challenging path requires all our senses; it makes us feel alive, and gets the adrenaline pumping. It offers great vistas, many rewards, but yet demands work; it isn’t easy. I think in general churches need a mix of the two sometimes in the same service. There are times for stability and there are times for challenges.

Worship
Blog
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Worship That's Out of this World

A few weeks ago I was at a choir concert where the Magnificat from Arvo Pärt was performed (listen here). An absolutely stunning piece with the music washing over you and bringing you into the presence of the holy.

Worship
Article
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A Historic Order of Worship

The following chart outlines a historic pattern of Christian worship. While most churches don’t use the exact wording found in this chart, there are thousands of churches on many continents that use a version of this pattern.

Worship
Blog
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Jamie Smith on Repentance and Assurance

Jamie Smith recently gave a lecture in which he said that repentance and assurance in worship are remarkable formative practices that are indispensable to the Christian life. He noted that on Oprah, we can find a form of assurance ("you're o.k.," "just be yourself"), while our shopping mall elicits shame or anxiety in all of us ("none of us measure up to the standards of the good life projected there.")

Worship
Blog
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Mark Charles and Multicultural Learning in Siberia

I have learned a lot from Mark Charles. Mark is a veteran blogger and a long-time CRC member, who writes very thoughtful pieces on cross-cultural exchanges, especially for members of the church, from his home in Window Rock, Arizona. This piece is the fruit of Mark’s trip to Siberia for a gathering about culturally relevant worship practices. I especially like Mark’s honesty about the unsettling quality of encountering worship practices that are new to us.

Worship
Article
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Decisions for Lenten Worship Planning

Your Lenten season will likely involve special worship efforts. Therefore, your worship planning will certainly require many decisions that involve advance planning and preparation. To help you anticipate these decisions, we list a number of questions and issues here.

Worship
Discussion Topic
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Favorite Psalms

Psalm singing is most certainly making a comeback. How many (more or less complete) Psalm settings does your congregation know and love to sing? Which ones are your ‘heart songs’?

Worship
Blog
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Intergenerational Involvement in Five Verses Per Sunday

What if you could find five people in your congregation, perhaps each representing a different decade (one child, one teen, one thirty-something, one fifty-something, one-eighty something)to tell you what single Psalm verse best expresses the praise and thanks that they personally long to offer God.   The results are likely to be inspiring. Someone might choose a verse from Psalm 150, another a verse from Psalm 30, another a verse from Psalm 63. 

Worship
Article
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Making Baptism Memorable

As Christian Reformed congregations reclaim the importance of baptism, they’re making the sacrament multisensory and helping worshipers “live into” their baptisms.

Worship
Article
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CRCNA Website One-Stop Resource Index

The following is an emerging draft of all of the worship-related resources provided by the Christian Reformed Church and its agencies and educational institutions—and easy place to gain access to the audio files, bulletin covers, liturgies, videos, and publications that worship planners and leaders need to do their work well.

Worship
Article
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Getting Started with Worship Planning

How can this service faithfully and imaginatively bring this scriptural text alive? How can the service invite the meaningful participation of everyone present? How can we serve as the prophets and priests for our community at worship? Planning worship is more a pastoral task than a logistical task.

Worship
Blog
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Counter-Cultural Leadership

Henry Nouwen once argued that the three greatest temptations for Christian leaders are to be a) relevant, b) spectacular, and c) powerful (In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership, Crossroads, 1987). 

Worship
Article
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Methods of Praying in Public Worship

Just as the types of prayers will include a great deal of variety, so should the methods in which we pray represent a variety. Perhaps if we suggest an admittedly incomplete listing of some different methods, it will stimulate your ideas, discussions, and planning.

Worship

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