Monday, February 29, 2016

Developing a Theology of Worship

If a member of your DCOM asked, “What is your theology of worship?”, what would your answer be? Not only is it good to have answers like this ready for anyone who may ask, it will help you to plan worship and market your worship to the outside community. Your theology of worship will change based on your ministry setting, but will have a connectional thread throughout your ministry. 

My most recent theology of worship was: 

My prayer is that people leave worship feeling better about themselves, God, and their ability to play a meaningful role in the transformation of the world. 
Worship provides a reminder of God's promises
even when the skies of life are dark.
Photo taken near my home. 

This informed my sermons, my liturgy, my hymn selections. The people in my congregation tended to be the employees not the employers. I knew that many of them were under appreciated and under employed. They spent much of the week being crapped on and struggling to make ends meet. And yet, they would show up at church at 6am on Sunday to prepare breakfast for the homeless. They would spend free time and resources caring for in-need members of the congregation and others in their community. They would sacrifice for others without restraint. They were some of the most kind-hearted, generous, compassionate people I have ever come in contact with. They needed encouragement to continue and affirmation of their goodness. They needed to be empowered in worship after being disempowered by the world. They didn’t need liturgy about their sinful nature or to be chastised for not helping the least, the last and the lost. I often received compliments about how uplifting worship was or how something we said or sang touched them. I was able to accomplish this because I had a clear, concise, site specific theology of worship. 

One simple, meaningful statement reflecting who your congregation is and what role you play in facilitating a more meaningful relationship between them and God can provide the basis for worship that will touch and transform hearts. Take time and prayerful reflection to develop yours and see how it can guide your worship planning. 

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