The answer is (C.) Both of the Above.
On Tuesday, the ministry staff at my 1700+member church will take a day out together (I had suggested a retreat, away from the building and phones and doorbells and computers, but it didn’t work out that way) to talk partly about our church family’s worship time together.
As you can imagine, just about every point of view on the subject is held by someone on staff, not to mention within our church family.
At our church, I have the responsibility of working with worship planning teams to translate their plans into the visuals and music used in our worship hours. Not everything that is happening in the planning or the execution is working as smoothly as it should. I expect to bear some of that responsibility Tuesday. I also expect to share some of it.
At the same time – if handled adroitly, prayerfully, and lovingly – the exchange of ideas and perception about worship can be an extraordinarily heart-expanding opportunity. I expect to catch myself slapping my forehead a few times and saying, “I never thought of it that way.” I also expect to catch myself a few times saying “Why in the world would ANYONE see it that way?” Hopefully, I will catch myself before saying it aloud.
There are problems to be solved with the way our worship is being planned and carried out. No one denies that. So we have a place to start the conversation.
Some of the problems are structural. Some are technological. Some are perceptional. Some are preferential.
Most, I believe, can be solved to the satisfaction of the One to Whom it really should matter the most – and a few can be solved to the satisfaction of most everyone else.
I also believe that what will make the most radical, positive improvement in the quality of our worship together is being able to not be derailed by any given aspect of it (selection of songs, clapping, raising hands or keeping them at our sides, spectacular visuals, procedure in observing the Supper, technological failures, accompaniment by praise teams, etc.) and to enter into worship intentionally, fully, purposefully and with all our hearts.
Then we will listen, sing, pray, dine at the Table, recite scripture together as if the Lord Himself were present.
Any suggestions for Tuesday?
I welcome your prayers.