As part of our constant dialogue on worship and music styles, Jon send me this SheepComics link. I was actually more intrigued by the commentary than the comic, in particular this part:


What I mean is that by and large there really is only one "worship style" and the vast majority of churches consider it a certain kind of meeting that goes like this:


  1. Opening prayer.
  2. Sing music or listen to performed music.
  3. Listen to a speech.
  4. Closing prayer.

I find that interesting because I disagree strongly. It is certainly true of some churches, but I wouldn't say majority—at least it would not characterize most of the churches I've been to. And certainly not what I would consider a more ideal "script" if you want one, which would be simply...

  1. The Word (Scripture and sermon)
  2. The Eucharist
...with prayers and singing liberally interwoven in all parts.

There is a place for "performed" music, just as there is a place for the "professional" sermon, each bringing to the service knowledge, skill, and experience above the level of most of the congregation. However, neither should be of primary importance. If the music, prayers, and Scripture reading do not actively involve the congregation most of the time, what is to distinguish it from a concert, or a lecture? Maybe we need more of the "Amen! Preach it, brother!" from the black church traditions. :) There's a reason the form of the service in many churches is called "Liturgy"—"the work of the people."

We are too much a nation of watchers, not doers. We have given worship, music, sports, child care, health care, meal preparation, tax preparation, and even thinking itself over to the professionals. It reminds me of something C. S. Lewis said, in The Screwtape Letters:

The more often [a person] feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.
Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at 4:26 pm | Edit
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