God used words and images to tell the story of his love and presence to his people. In many of our churches, we are comfortable using words in worship, but imagery seems more difficult. What are some of the images that can be used in worship to help convey the message of God
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Christmas Eve is about children, costumes, choirs, carols, candles, and candy canes and coordinators. Behind the scenes of our Christmas Eve pageants or dramas are volunteers or staff who have their own families and personal events to plan.
Canadian Thanksgiving is barely passed and US Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Worship planners put so much work into helping other people give thanks during this season, but how good are we at being thankful both to God and to the many people who help us do our jobs?
We CRC folk might hold tightly to our traditions, but one of our most treasured traditions is to change . . . to allow ourselves to be reformed, re-shaped, renewed by God in our personal lives and in our corporate worship. How does your congregation navigate worship changes?
Call it ‘heavenly’ worship planning, if you will. Some worship leaders and pastors dock their worship plans in the cloud, inviting other worship leaders to contribute to the plan—all contributing to the same document without having to drive over to church for yet another meeting.
Nobody likes getting a letter of complaint about their work. Worship leaders are no exception. I slipped on my rhino-skinned armour and began to read but the precaution was unnecessary. He simply asked that we put more attention on the Psalms. He said that singing the Psalms had led him to Jesus. I was disappointed to discover how few of them seemed singable. How should we respond to his request?
He’s got the whole world in his hands . . . This is my Father’s world . . . In Christ there is no East or West . . . Are these words just lip service to the global reign of Christ or do we look for ways to celebrate and learn from the world-wide family of God? How does worship in your congregation reflect the Father's world?
What do weddings have in common with Ordination and Installation worship services? As churches and pastors make promises to one another, how can we encourage both solemnity and delighted celebration? What's the most creative, celebrative part of an ordination service you've seen?
Some years ago, Elders had to approve the lyrics of a solo; now Elders rarely know the names of the songs before the music starts. Have lay leaders replaced the Consistory in "regulating" worship? Or do Elders still play an active role in setting direction of worship in our churches?
How do we get from blank page to the "Amen?" Out of the hundreds of thousands of options, how did that particular worship service move from scattered, unrelated ideas and pieces into a completed whole? There are those who think it "just happens." You and I know better...
What bothers me about the recent surge in electronic writing is the infectious pretension and self-promoting vanity that seems to pervade the internet. Couple that temptation with the tender topic of worship--and the myriad of opinions accompanying that subject--and we've got a recipe for disaster.
There’s an urban clothing company known simply as “FUBU,” which stands for “For Us, By Us.” Sadly, I wonder if “FUBU” might also describe the way many of our churches worship. Leave aside your dusty theology books for just a moment and consider the question: How would Jesus construct a church’s worship ministry?
In recent years, it seems to be trendy to point out our individuality in worship. If only I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, “My church is not a typical CRC!” I fear that the comment is more an indication of our western love affair with personal expression and individuality than a true desire to live out godly creativity.
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.