Worship Leading and Politics

With the Iowa Caucus coming up tomorrow, the Presidential Election season will effectively go from the pre-season, if you will, to the regular season. I thought I would write an extra post this week to address worship leading and politics.Read More »

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Praxis, Worship, Theology: Being Intentional

If you want your church’s worship to develop and your worship leading to grow, being intentional about your worship is the very first step that you should take. Today, we are going to look at two disciplines that will help us be more intentional about our worship, but first, I want to talk about what it means to “be intentional” about or worship.Read More »

Journeys in Worship: Seasons of Faith, Pt. 1

The Bishop's Corner

Last week I discussed some things I have learned over the years regarding the journey that is the corporate worship service.  This week I would like to continue the conversation and look at larger view of the journey, namely the one through which we walk during the year: the Church calendar.

We live in a world that is run by different calendars: chronological, fiscal, academic.  Each month sees the celebration of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries of various kinds, and civic holidays; each month also sees the remembering of those who have passed, the recalling of demarcating events in history, both good and bad.  Interwoven in all of this is the Church calendar.Read More »

Journeys in Worship: The Service

Last week I shared about my first experience leading a worship service.  This week I want to turn our attention to a few specific things of the many I have encountered and learned in the intervening years.  I am couching them as the “journeys in worship”: things that can, to paraphrase The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, lead us “further up and further in” to a relationship with God and his Church.  These journeys not only lead the congregation on a “journey within a journey” (i.e. the Christian faith), they also ask the Church to live within a constant rhythm of God’s loving, salvific story.Read More »

The Art of Selecting Worship Songs

 

When it comes to the art of selecting worship songs, everyone has a rooted opinion. Most of the time we are quick to disregard someone else’s opinion because it does not coincide with ours. So how do we select worship songs if everyone has a different opinion?

The key is to find a barometer that goes beyond each individual’s personal preference. Read More »

Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community

As I have mentioned before, this website serves the purpose of equipping and empowering worsFreska u kaloti krstionice, manastir Žièa, Srbijahip leaders, theologically and in praxis. Often I attempt to synthesize theology and praxis (such as I did here) in a single article. Sometimes, however, the focus is on theology or praxis. In the case of theology, my desire is to introduce worship leaders to some of the best, modern scholarship on worship and liturgy. Today I offer another book review for this purpose.Read More »

Understanding Liturgy, Pt. II: An Evangelical Definition

Holy_Eucharist_Rite_2In my last article I offered an evangelical perspective on liturgy. While not a conversation that evangelicals have often participated in for some time, the work of numerous theologians, including Robert Webber and Simon Chan has stirred an interest in knowing our Christian history, and therefore an understanding of how those who have gone before us have worshiped. With this uncovering of the past, learning the language of liturgy has become a necessity.

Deterred by the word “liturgy”, many evangelicals are unable to take the time to grasp liturgy and all that it means and encompasses. This article seeks to present a working evangelical definition of liturgy as influenced by its historical definition. I am comfortable offering a working definition for two reasons: one, theology is concerned with uncovering the best human language possible for God and His work, and two, I am more than willing to concede my thoughts to another who appears to use “more right” language than myself (although probably not without a stubborn discussion).Read More »

Understanding Liturgy, Pt. I: An Evangelical Understanding

CommonWorshipBooksThanks to the work of evangelical scholars, particularly Robert E. Webber, there has been a renewed interest in evangelical circles on the history of our faith. The rise in interest in our Christian history has primarily peaked concerning the historic Church’s worship. In this pursuit, “liturgy” has made an appearance within North American evangelicalism

Plenty of scholarship outlines the origination of the word “liturgy”, or leitourgia, so I will not spend time describing its entrance into the Church. Often understood as “the work of the people”, some scholars offer an extended definition, that liturgy is primarily “the work of Christ”, as well as “the work of the people”. The latter definition offsets the tendency to see the liturgy as a good work performed by the Church.Read More »

The Church’s Entertainer: The Worship Leader

You know that feeling when something does not quite seem right? No matter how far you try to push it away, that feeling fixes itself inside you. The evangelical church in America has contracted this bug, and she is uncertain of how to remedy her condition. So what is this possible condition?

A_Photo_of_the_LDI_2013_Conference_in_Las_Vegas,_NV

There are people who fear that she struggles with entertainment in worship.


Worship Leader
, Christianity Today, and Relevant present this issue about the supposed crisis in their magazines, while Jamie Brown and Kevin Carr take to their blogs and share their experiences as worship leaders, some of which include hurts. A Google search consisting of “worship” and “entertainment” will provide many more articles and testimonials working through this topic.Read More »

“Saving Images”

Conversations on images in our evangelical churches have long been absent from our evangelical circles for years. That is, until the recent surge of technology in many churches striving to be “Theotokos_Iverskayacontemporary” and “relevant”. With the development of programs such as ProPresenter and the invention of LED walls, alongside the increasing use of lights during worship service “productions”, images have regained attention within evangelical churches.

Recently, in the July 2015 volume of Worship, “a peer reviewed, international ecumenical journal for the study of liturgy and liturgical renewal”, noted Lutheran liturgist Gordon Lathrop wrote an article titled “Saving Images” that could be very informative for the evangelical images conversation.

Beyond visual images, however, Lathrop encourages a return of verbal imagery in our liturgies. More specifically, he argues for a renewal of verbal biblical imagery in our liturgies.

Images Distract

Read More »