Sunday, August 29, 2010

Organic worship

We are in a process of visioning for the future at my church (a serious change from the week to week or maybe month to month mode of operation we have currently).

At annual conference I had an epiphany of what the "vision" might look like.  Some of the things I listed were:

Biblically literate members
Faithful stewardship
(of both private and corporate resources; as well as ministries sustained by tithing not fundraisers)
Worship music diversity
College ministry
Organic worship experiences
Passionate about prayer
Local mission
Global mission project (school, orphanage, hospital)
Music in worship that attracts quality musicians
New worship service
A justice ministry that addresses an institutional issue (immigration, homelessness, human trafficking, domestic violence, substance abuse, etc)

When my church council reviewed the list, multiple people asked me what "organic worship" meant. I tried to define it, but struggled a bit.  But last week I had clarity (in words) about what I meant.  What I mean by organic worship is worship that is planned and centered around the scripture/theme of the worship service, rather than simply plugged into the routine order of worship.  
 I like good liturgy and I appreciate an order of worship and even appreciate a predictability to worship so that it is comfortable and helps me feel at ease in another church. I also appreciate variance so that we don't get so stuck that anything "new" or "different" is vigilantly rejected.  I also like that variance allows me to feel comfortable in a variety of different churches with different styles of worship and I am not limited to just those denominations and churches that worship like me.
I would love for us to be able to have organic worship at my church.  It takes a good deal more thought and planning, but is so much more meaningful and impactful!  But, I have a feeling that such a switch would bring about some serious revolt from the pews. I know that's not a reason to give up the idea all together.  But it is a reason to proceed with caution.  I am not a "switch it for what's best and they'll get over it" kind of pastor.  I am the type who likes to go one step at a time, with a big step outside the box every once in awhile to warm people up to new ideas and ways of doing church.  I want people to be on board and supportive, not feeling isolated, rejected, and forgotten as the "church moves on without [them]". 


John Meunier said...

Perhaps some formation and education around the shape of the liturgy as it now stands and why it has that shape would move the current practice from "what we've always done" to "something we do for reasons x, y, and z."

Then, if you do something else but clearly animated by the same reasons it might be seen as a continuation of the past rather than a break from it.

Deb said...

that's good advice John, thank you. I will have to work on implementing that!