The growing field of worship studies receives its newest contribution in Matthew Kaemingk and Cory Willson’s accessible but theologically rich book, Work and Worship.
After the so-called “worship wars” and the uneasy truce that followed, after several generations of faithful North American Christians being raised completely on contemporary worship music, after a flood of new technologies in church music ministries, an emerging understanding of how Millennials and Gen Z actually think, and an accelerating diversity of peoples, cultures, and ideas, it is reasonable to ask of congregational worship, “What’s next?”
Church musicians are prompt to assert that the musical practices of communal Christian worship shape us: What we sing and how we sing together forms us powerfully. Given the wealth of resources available on the topics of congregational worship and the music heard in our churches today, it is easy to be overwhelmed with new trends, new technologies, and new innovations.
John MacInnis offers some historical perspective and practical ideas for how the power of music can foster cultural inclusivity in our church communities while keeping all our eyes where they belong—forever on Jesus.
Worship, in the Reformed understanding, is a dialogue between God and his people, a dialogue in which God speaks, and we respond.
The testimonies and experiences of children keep us going even when we experience far less affirmation, gratitude, and perceptible works of the Holy Spirit than we would like.
What role does lament play in our worship? If we come into God’s presence as whole persons, we come burdened with illness, grief, and confusion as well as with joy; with regrets and sorrows as well as with thanksgiving.
In finding a sense of fulfillment and purpose, is it possible that somewhere along the way, we placed work at a level it was never meant to be on, changing the standard of what is successful and focusing our efforts on growth and improvement, never capable of saying we have enough?
Our “estate planning” would do well to include equipping ourselves with songs that have nurtured the Church for decades and centuries.
As hymn books dissolve into digital catalogs and organs morph into macbooks, what do we make of the source of our songs? Who decides what gets written and what gets played (are the worship wars really over)?
Even when we don’t feel God’s presence or God’s care for us, we know that God is present, and God is caring for his people.
We make a big deal out of our daily worship and we also make a big deal out of how we worship. We have a hunch that over a period of time how we worship forms us in mysterious ways that we can scarcely understand.
Unity, says the Lord, is good and pleasant. But often, unity does not come without a shared vision, a shared understanding. How then, can we shift our understanding—of God, of God’s kingdom, of our role within God’s kingdom work—so that we become more unified with Jesus and our neighbor?
Along with that comes the invitation to slow down: to notice daily experiences as they form us, to be mindful of the Spirit’s work in our everyday life. Perhaps above all, we are challenged to learn to see the beauty of small moments.
My heart desires so many things that are “by definition worthless.” I know with my mind and say with my mouth that I want Christ to come first, but my actions show otherwise.
Daily Scripture Texts Psalm 92 Leviticus 26:3-20 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 Once when I was out riding my bike, I had to wait at an intersection for the light to change. Also waiting at the intersection was a man in his car, anxious to make a right-hand turn. He was impatient because the car ahead of him refused to turn on …
When we worship, we tell God’s story back to Him. We sing and declare praises of who God is and what He has done.
We are called to evaluate our traditions, and this specific challenge is part of being an obedient disciple.
Springtime is a great reminder of God’s faithfulness to his creation.
For a subject so closely associated with pure, objective reason, mathematics inspires a surprising amount of emotion. For those who have experienced math as an inscrutable collection of symbols and rules, the most common emotions may be fear, loathing, or anxiety. For others, however, math inspires passion, even love.
How often do we still make our God an easy god? We can manipulate the theology of calling and vocation to make it a rubber stamp on our ambitions. We can cheapen grace until the very concept of sin seems old-fashioned.
Isaiah also reminds us of what true fasting is: denying ourselves and helping those in need. Shifting the focus from ourselves to others is an act of selflessness, which can be difficult sometimes.
Our lives will be a song of sincere love towards God and others, a stream of worship that elevates our lives from mere performances of humankind to daily and intentional displays of Christ’s love for and towards God and our neighbor.
By telling what God has done in our lives, we point to the grace of the cross, to the one who is our Light and our Salvation, our stronghold in times of darkness.
This week on iAt, we will focus on how practices of the church, that have been done for centuries, are still relevant in 2017. We invite you to return to iAt throughout this week to reflect and be challenged on how you approach communion, baptism, evangelism, and community in your church and for your own spiritual health. “Since I don’t …
- Page 1 of 2