thinking out loud

…things that are on my mind, heart, and soul

11.14.10 Worship Confessional

This morning was the last Sunday in the season of Pentecost which means that next Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical year.  Over a year ago, I was convicted by God and challenged to preach and teach through the lectionary. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, the Revised Common Lectionary is a series of readings from the Bible for use in Christian worship, making provision for the liturgical year with its pattern of observances of festivals and seasons. Each Sunday there are four readings – two from the Old Testament and two from the New Testament – and we have been using these readings to help shape our worship gatherings (musically, prayerfully and teaching-wise).

We have tracked through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost and I have found this to be a deeply enriching experiment. As well, a number of people commented this morning how their own faith journey has been enriched by our participation in this liturgical practice.

I would love to get your input on the following questions:

  • How familiar are you with the seasons of the Christian year?
  • Has your church ever experimented with the lectionary?
  • How might your people respond to a liturgical experiment?
  • In what ways do you try to connect your worship with the worship practice of the historical and global church?

Musically, our worship set this morning included the following:

  • Came to My Rescue (Hillsong)
  • Salvation Is Here (Hillsong)
  • Scripture Reading from Psalm 98
  • The Earth is Yours (Gungor)
  • Forever Reign (Hillsong/One Sonic Society)
  • Yahweh (Hillsong)

Learn what other communities of faith experienced in worship this weekend at The Worship Community.

Stay connected…


Filed under: leadership, worship gatherings

One Response

  1. Terry

    Thanks for the feedback on my Sunday Setlist. I always struggle with the reflections part of the posting. I am familiar with “Radical.” My pastor and I finished reading it together a few months ago (We meet for lunch weekly and discuss the book we are reading together and other things.). We decided the elder board should read it together too, and we finished a few weeks ago. It was a challenging and unsettling read; one that forces you to think. I like those kinds of books. Earlier in the year the pastor had a meeting with all the elders where he posed the question something like “If someone has been attending our church for ten years what would we want them to look like?” We brainstormed and filled a large whiteboard with ideas. I later summarized those ideas into three areas: knowledge, service, and character. We changed the last one to Christlikeness. In short we want everyone to know the truth and serve the body with the character of Christ. We have been working on defining a process to do just that and we plan to start in January. We have no idea what the response will be; we are trusting God to change hearts. I personally have come to a point where I am no longer willing to invest my limited time and attention on things I know don’t really work and continue to feed a spectator faith. “Radical” is an indication we are on the right track.

    Here are my inputs on your questions:

    1. How familiar are you with the seasons of the Christian year?

    I read a book by Robert Webber about it several years ago, it was very interested and compelling. My pastor wasn’t as interested. We do practice Advent with candles and readings. I have worked to do Advent hymns for the first two Sundays (this year three!) instead of just jumping into Christmas carols. We are also singing songs the Sunday after Christmas instead of dropping them so quickly. We also normally do a Good Friday service.

    2. Has your church ever experimented with the lectionary?

    No. I have been attending since July of 1994

    3. How might your people respond to a liturgical experiment?

    I believe they will support what they know the leaders believe in and are committed to.

    4. In what ways do you try to connect your worship with the worship practice of the historical and global church?

    I haven’t ever considered it, so I am not intentional about it nor am I really sure what it would look like. I am committed to using great songs of the faith, not just the latest songs. I do make sure we sing at least one hymn (I’ll define that as a song before 1950) every Sunday. We present it just as we would any other worship song, so if you don’t already know it is a hymn, it would not be obvious. The pastor prays for a different mission area in the world each Sunday.

    I hope you find these inputs helpful.

    A question on your lectionary readings. Are they read responsively by the people or is the text read to them by someone?


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have the peace that passes understanding at the heart of yourself, but do not be at peace with the world. for the world is more malleable than we think and we must wrestle it from fools. (bono)
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