I'd love to sleep seven hours straight through without waking up but that's not my lot. So at 4 am I wake up and start thinking about what a reformation in worship would look like in this day and age.
What I'm suggesting is not new. Heck, it's probably been around since Al Gore invented the internet [LOL] but then again I'm sometimes a bit slower than others are. So here goes.
I'm proposing a way to develop a service of worship, sermon, environs, music and other aspects of worship. A couple of statements before we start
- HC stands for "Host Church"
- I'm not into psalms only, regulative principle, or going back to the 1500's as a model for worship. Some are called to do that, my predestination lies along another path
- The tools used to accomplish what I'm talking about are probably out there. I can think of Google documents, IM programs, GodTube, and probably a dozen more.
- This ALL HAPPENS UNDER A COVERING OF PRAYER. I'm not downplaying God's hand in any of this.
5. The Holy Spirit gifts us and calls us in the matter of conducting worship. And among those gifts include, literally, a world of believers with insight and gifts. Any creative work is simply reflective of the work of the Holy Spirit working in and through God's people. It flows from God because God IS in charge not us.
Posting this on the church site [see #3 above] the HC plans to start 2009 with communion and a service based on John 3:16. Among those invited to add input are the HC members and leadership as well as others who know the pastor and who access the website.
Here's where it gets interesting. A couple of weeks after the HC posts the idea a house church in the Southern U.S. offers their take on communion and what it means to "examine oneself" in light of loving God and others.
A member of an Australian Anglican congregation describes how God's love touched them during the Eucharist in their home parish just the past weekend. And several suggestions come in about hymns, praise music etc.
Nothing happens for a while. As the HC pastor and a few leadership people start commenting on where they are other ideas emerge. Another pastor likes the HC idea and plan their first 2009 service around the same theme. It doesn't matter that they are a missionary church located in South America.
Another pastor suggests a video clip from a movie that was released and others suggest classic movie ideas as well. One teen shares a YouTube video in which a teen/20 something tells of God's amazing love.
Some of those with musical skills share insight into the music that was suggested including ideas for medleys, alternative chording and transitions that they found helpful as they used those songs. And then there are those who send in prayers, personal stories and the latest "internet stuff".
As Advent nears and plans are coming together the HC staff/pastor shares her/his thinking with those who have contributed. This includes updating music, bulletin ideas, sermon outline or thoughts and the like. One last gasp of energy hit those around and a Pastor from Africa sends some photos he's taken to be used as background for PowerPoint. Ideas for the environs, banners and art to help focus those who are in worship on God's love and the Lord's Supper are shared by a local creative artist.
A missionary whom the HC knows records video of a communion service they had and sends that along for the church to use.
The problem with information overload is real. There is a GREAT DEAL OF STUFF out there. Here is where discernment becomes vital. The HC cannot use everything nor would they want to. You have to choose those items, ideas, and things which you believe will gain a hearing among those who are attending the HC that Sunday. On the other hand when that Sunday in 2009 rolls around, the HC may be using A, C, D, & F while a congregation in South America uses D, A, F, & B. Other pastors will file away various songs, clips, ideas etc. for when they preach on this passage.
The bulletin is done, sermon pretty well finished and the rest of the stuff is ready to go. The HC acknowledges those who have aided them, thanks them and heads out to worship. BTW while this has been going on the same sort of input has been going on for worship up through Easter.
I may have had to write this in order to get it clear in my head because I've seen similar posts in the pasts. Some of this happens now as worship in planned at Kenton but it's pretty much me gleaning what I find off the net or something a missionary or member sends me. I think there is a lot of room for improvement and more interactive work.
Enough for now.