Isn’t it strange that while society is so eager to begin celebrating Christmas, it is equally quick to drop it like a hot potato?
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Kevin Twit wrote that the hymns our grandparents sang and loved, are now finding a place in the set list of today's worship leaders and in the hearts of younger Christians. Like anything that makes a comeback they are not reappearing in exactly the same form.
Our task as worship leaders and planners is to be used by the Holy Spirit to help our congregants live as Easter people in a world of wars, disease, flooding, abuse, sickness, depression, and yes, hope. It’s been said “we are an Easter people living in a Good Friday world.”
Singing of a Christ who challenges us to love our enemies including those of different faiths or ethnic backgrounds, to forgive the worst of sinners and then enfold them into our community, to take care of the orphan even those with HIV/AIDs, to be willing to give up some of the comforts in life in order to bring comfort to those who need it most; to sing of such a Christ puts us outside our comfort zone.
I am all for spiritual practices and discipline. I’m just not sure that the act of giving up chocolate or TV for Lent can draw us closer to God in and of itself. Laurence Hull Stookey puts it best when he writes: “Lenten disciplines are not temporary deletions or additions, but spiritual exercises that permanently alter us” ...
Though most of us would say that the “worship wars” are for the most part over I sometimes wonder if we haven’t arrived at a simple truce rather than true reconciliation. The March 2011 issue of Christianity Today has supported my uneasiness by publishing 4 articles on worship.
What we consider as normal has everything to do with our context. In conversations about worship I am increasingly trying to excise any statement that suggests a norm such as, “this song is familiar” or “everyone is doing x, y or z.” For every normative statement we try to make there will be examples where it is false...
Can anyone be a part of a worship team or must they be a professing member in good standing? What about new Christians who are still trying to figure out what it means to live as a Christian? Do we expect a certain amount of spiritual maturity to be exemplified by our worship leaders?
The following email was sent out on Behalf of Bruce Adema the Director of Canadian Ministries. For other agency related worship material check out the One-Stop Resource Index which can be found under the Must Reads on the Worship Networks main page.
The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect and take inventory of the past 12 months. No doubt you may have noticed top 10 lists popping up all over. I was curious myself as to what the top 10 worship songs were for 2010 and so I did some web research but ran into some roadblocks.
Is Reformation Day a thing of the past that doesn’t relate to those who haven’t grown up in the “Dutch church”? Is it something that we should re-energize or let fade away? If we stop celebrating this defining moment of the Reformation do we risk losing our historical roots which help ground us theologically? What do you think?
I am not a fan of awkward silences. Sometimes silence is good and appropriate – during prayer or following a particularly moving anthem. However, the silence between a pastor’s words of “And now the choir is going to sing for us” and the choir members standing in their seats and walking to the front is unnecessary and it disrupts the worship flow.
How many is too much? How many new songs can you have in a worship service? I know of churches where including a new song in worship is something that is done with some fear and trepidation on the part of the worship planners who also know that a new song can ...
Whatever your committee’s or team’s name or function it is easy to get in a rut, to do things a particular way because that’s the way it has always been done (even if it’s only the second year you have been doing it). So how do you get out of a liturgical rut? How do you discern when a once helpful practice has become unhelpful or when a 100 year old practice needs to be retained? How do you lead your congregation to grow in the area of worship?
Prayers for our enemies are prayers for the wellbeing and ultimately for the salvation of those who oppose and hurt us. They don’t excuse sin nor reduce the need to call attention to injustices of all kinds. However praying for our enemies does align us with God’s kingdom building work.