Monday, 15 February 2016

Neither Traditional nor Contemporary, but Engagement

My understanding of worship styles does not assume the typical terminology of traditional vs. contemporary. For me, the issue is whether the worshiper is characteristically a participant or a spectator. More precisely, do we engage our congregation in worship? This approach of engagement affects the way we welcome the congregation, how we present our announcements, how we receive and respond to praises and prayer requests, how we order our services, and how we include others in worship leading. 

In my present position, I meet with two other pastoral staff two hours a week to critique the previous week’s service, and to plan the upcoming week’s service, allowing healthy discussion of worship issues. I personally invest at least five hours weekly into our worship services, striving to hear the voice of God through worship planning, through interaction with our pastoral staff, and through congregational feedback. 

Thus, worship planning is not a matter of filling out a template and printing the bulletin. Rather, we aspire to engage our congregants in meaningful worship that is 
Baptists singing to one another in Sacred Harp style
  • biblically sound; 
  • attuned to Baptist theological urgencies, especially the indwelling of the Spirit and soul competency; 
  • personally transformative; 
  • culturally relevant; 
  • reflecting a continuity with the historic communion of the saints.
Really, it's not about the composition date of the music. Besides, Amazing Grace was at one time one of those hymns that people hated to have to learn.

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