Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Opus 2012-104, Monday Pulpit: The Innovative Service

Sunday the pastor put on an innovative service.  He had a local songwriter sing a number of his works interspersed with pastoral comments and scripture.  I had my typical reaction:  Ho, hum.  It was not a problem with them.  The pastor does a good job.  It was his idea to get the other guy to sing, not the ego of the musician.  As home grown music writers go he was above average.  The problem is in me:  I come to worship, not to experiment. 

I know that pastors have this need to be creative.  They are told that contemporary worship requires innovation.  To that I will do a little proof-texting:
(Proverbs 24:21 KJV)  My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
For me worship involves finding ways to focus on the person and works of God in His three persons.  I want to praise, hear, grow.  I don’t want to be entertained.  I don’t want to be surprised, except by the Holy Spirit touching a spot I was covering up.

Innovation drives people away.  Have you ever been to a Brazilian Barbeque.  They are awesome places to eat.  A multitude of waiters are walking around with swords and skewered on the swords are an endless variety of meats that have been prepared in the kitchen.  They will come up to you and offer you some.  I would always ask what it was and, depending on how adventuresome I was feeling, say “yes” or “no.”   Innovative worship is like being required to eat whatever they bring around.  Most people would not come back.

Or suppose you go to a place that has a world class salad bar.  Innovative worship is like sending your tofu-and-bean-sprout, crazy uncle to the salad bar for you.  It would only require one trip to decide to do it different next time.

Or picture the church pot luck that would stand out as one of the highlights of your culinary journey.  Imagine that you were required to sample every third dish with no variation.  I might leave and head for the golden arches.

So if you are a pastor, you might want to back off on the innovation.  If you have a say in worship you might go with the recipe that makes a restaurant stand the test of time:  Great food in a pleasant environment with the innovation on the daily special list, not the only game in town.  People looking for innovation tend to come once.  People looking for good food come back if they find it.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.