Welcome Friends!

Welcome Friends!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How Do Disciples Worship?

How do Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Worship? This is something that I have been exploring over the past few years of my ministry. Maybe it is because I am a 30 something CC(DOC) pastor who grew up in a vibrant church in WDM, Iowa that allowed me to first experience praising and worshiping our God. Maybe it is because I serve as a rural Illinois pastor that is constantly challenging my congregation that is a 175 year old CC(DOC) church -- especially when it comes to our worship time together. Maybe because I look to my colleagues and see the wide variety of worship just within our denomination alone, and I get excited about what we are all doing.

Whatever the reason,
when it comes to all facets of our vital ministries, I would like to hear about what we are all doing for worship - traditional, contemporary, emergent, whatever! For example, my congregation has allowed me to introduce new services to their opportunities of praising and worshiping God. Instead of being passive worshipers of God, they have become active when visual and kinesthetic forms of worship have been added to the tradition written and audio forms. We have purchased a projector for viewing videos, pictures and order of service. We have explored God's words through sermon series and felt the Holy Spirit when we celebrated special events. And it is all different from what they are used to!

Is it important that we share this information?
Yes I think it is! If we are to be transforming congregations that share the Good News of Jesus Christ -- we may need to "do" worship different than we used to. And if I have learned anything over the past few years is that we are a sharing and loving church body that is willing to share their wealth of information. I have called upon my internet colleagues for help in planning worship, wedding and funeral services. And I have worked with very talented friends and pastors in the Illinois/Wisconsin region in planning local, regional, and general ministries together. I believe that we have an untapped resource in our own denomination and I hope to help fuel the fire that is burning within all of us when in comes to worship.

I Need your help! My hope is that through this blog, we can begin to share and explore the worship we are experiencing in our denomination and our churches. I am hoping that you will help give me input into the process and development of this blog. Please feel free to post or email me (ursacc@adams.net) with suggestions on the directions we can go together. I look forward to this journey and pray that God blesses all of us as we worship each and every day!


Kate said...

Yaaay! First comment!

For me, music and silence are important components of worship --indeliberate music and dead space inhibit worship. It's essential to have several genres of music, each of which is attractive to 2 or more groups within the congregation, and an openness on the part of the individual members of the congregation to share the "air time" and tolerate music/silence that they don't particularly like.

Everything should be done with intent and purpose. "We've always done it this way" is the enemy, but "This is a dear tradition for us *because*" is key.

Thanks for starting this blog. it ought to be a wild ride.

-Kate Terlep
(30-something, former church musician, current mission director and traditional music freak, future CTS seminarian)

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to the discussion on this blog. I am serving a church that is basically traditional in worship but there are those who are looking for other expressions of prayer and worship. What I have found is that people get locked into a 'style' and don't or can't see beyond that to different expressions. When we are able to worship in Spirit and Truth style doesn't matter as much. Everything from quiet, contemplitive worship to organ and hymns to loud, fast worship and everything inbetween can be a part of worship but it starts with our hearts.

Darren Anderson
Hampton Christian Church

Anonymous said...

When I arrived at an declining neighborhood DoC church four years ago it was stuck, stuck, stuck. It was going through the worship experience in a horribly complicated and truly unmotivating manner. Instead of the mantra "We've always done it that way, I got the mantra "We don't know why we do what we do." Now I've been teaching them a new mantra, "If it ain't broke, break it." Which means we should always try new things without fear of them not working. We can do traditional things as long as we know why we are doing them and know who we are trying to reach. Even with successful changes we must consider change from time to time or they become locked in traditions as well. "If it ain't broke, break it."

Louisville, KY