corporate worship

what’s wrong with corporate worship in the evangelical church? and how are we going to fix it?

we’ve set up a model to reach “(post) modern ears.” but lets ask some hard questions. has the method hardened into dogma? does our (post) modern worship end up excluding worshipers? does it even really lead post-modern hearts into the presence of the lord where they can offer up the true worship that the father desires?

are we doing the church any favors?

how about you? do you participate in corporate worship and find yourself wrestling with dullness in your heart? wandering thoughts? how many times in the last six months have you had to remind yourself that worship is a discipline whether you feel like it or not? now, how much of that is really the fault of your unrepentant heart and how much is the fault of the method?

i’m wrestling with this right now, so if you’ve got any “yes,” “no way,” or “how about,” please let me know.

0 thoughts on “corporate worship”

  1. i must have fallen asleep and when i woke up joshua was blogging again! i came back to your blog to find 6-7 new posts…are you feeling ok? good thoughts about post-modern worship. i don’t know the answers to these, but i do think in our main services we try to walk a tightrope of leading worship for our regulars and at the same time being seeker sensitive. i definitely agree that there is more to worship than singing rock songs. there are lots of ancient ways of doing worship that are helpful to try and adapt for our modern ways. the thing about singing is that everyone can do it all at the same time. for a few brief minutes everyone is worshipping in unison in the same way. i think in some ways i try to “warm up” the crowd first, before delving into trying to find and discover God. i don’t think just playing good rock tunes covers it, and i don’t think driving straight into the ambient and intimate covers it. i find that you really need both, because people aren’t ready to just meet with God from the get go. the hard part of leading worship i think is starting on time. usually there are only a handful of people in the room when it is time to start and it’s hard to try and go on this journey together when the majority of the people coming on the ‘journey’ haven’t arrived yet. on the other hand, i do recognize your questioning of reminding ourselves that it is a discipline. lately this hasn’t been a problem, but i definitely know what you are talking about. the important thing is to ‘go through the motions’ even if you aren’t feeling it. it’s important to remember that worship is not about us, but about him. anything we get out of it, is just the cherry on the top… just my 2 cents…spend them wisely(!)

  2. Like Michael, I just stumbled on this post from almost a week ago. Sorry for slacking 🙂 I’ve been to almost every iteration of Protestant Christianity in this country, from Episcopal/Anglican to Pentecostal/Holiness. I think the best thing I can say to your question(s) is: yes and no. Yes, worship music of every kind (not just rock-infused non-denom charis-vangelicalism like vineyard) excludes worshipers as well as it includes. It “leads” postmodern hearts into God’s presence. It keeps other people’s hearts out, including some postmodern people. I don’t think the problem is the dullness. I think the problem is that we don’t know what to do with the dullness–we think the dullness is symptomatic of something being wrong in our hearts. But as humans we simply can’t be emotionally or spiritually “amped up” every week, let alone every day. I don’t think that’s unfaithfulness on our part or God’s. Most likely, it’s a collision of general biological and cultural stuff with our own individual spiritual journey(ies). If this is the case, that doesn’t mean that we *never* change up anything to reach people in a different way, but that we have to realize people are going to interact with God, themselves, and each other in ways we cannot plan for or predict. I like the line that goes: “Pastors are to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” I don’t understand why that can’t be the gold standard for how church leaders and christians work together in general. But what do I know. I can’t really play the guitar.

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