September 23, 2008 by

Re-Thinking Worship (Part 3: Our Response)


Categories: changing mindsets, worship

So in pondering the things I’ve shared in the previous posts on this subject…our house church has launched a sort of experiment.

In coming to realize that there must be much more to worship than the corporate worship leader directing the congregation–that this is a method rather than a principle, and is therefore subject to change; and in realizing that this method is growing stale on us; and in realizing that worship is supposed to come from an overflow response to what God has done and is doing in our lives…we began to ask the question:

“If you were going to form your own response to God to what He’s doing in your life, what would that look like?”

What we meant by posing that question is this: if we are going to expand our expression of worship beyond the box of the corporate singing time (which we aren’t abandoning totally, btw), then that means our worship is going to be re-shaped. And how we respond to God is what is going to re-shape that worship. Our worship needs to be shaped according to what God is doing in His people here. So by asking the question above, we were placing the responsibility upon the people to sense the work of God in their lives and respond to it.

We gave a sort of assignment to our people to come up with some sort of offering of worship to God, according to gift and ability. We told them to take off the mindsets in thinking about this. It could be a song or dance, or the usual forms of worship, but it didn’t have to be. Nothing was off limits (except, of course, it needed to be moral). 🙂 It could be a Scripture, a devotional, a poem, a drawing, a demonstration of some sort–anything that was an honest response or gift to bring to God. We decided to do about 2 or 3 of these per week, and just see where it took us. And so we’ve launched an experiment that will probably last several months at least–a journey that we hope will show us how our worship is going to be re-shaped.

Last Sunday, we opened the floor to the first three people. The first girl shared a poetic writing full of emotion and insight that instantly brought us to tears. This was followed by a journal entry and another piece of writing, both equally beautiful. And our hearts responded to Jesus through them–in worship. No music. No “everybody-sing-with-me-now.” But worship.

I have heard of some of the offerings that are going to be brought in the days ahead, and some of them sound very out-of-the-box and creative. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

6 Responses to Re-Thinking Worship (Part 3: Our Response)

  1. Sarah

    I love this question: “If you were going to form your own response to God to what He’s doing in your life, what would that look like?”

    I enjoyed hearing about your community’s experience with rethinking worship and look forward to future entries on this topic!

  2. Steve Oberg

    Cooooooool! I am getting a little teary-eyed just thinking about it. As a “traditional” (guitar in-hand) worship leader-type guy myself, I long for something refreshing like this to come along.

    I look forward to more posts on this topic.

  3. Jeff McQ

    What was really cool was that as each one brought their offering of worship to God, it elicited a response from the others. So although each offering was a personal expression, presenting it that way enabled us to respond corporately to it.

    Sarah & Steve…
    Thanks for the encouragement. I, too, am looking forward to what is to come…

    That's great, bro. I look forward to what you will share the next time you, um, fly over from Australia to um, come to house church.

  4. Mork

    It might be a little hard to share down your way Jeff – but I speak and or lead about about once a month at our fellowship – “The Bridge”, – last time I led we set the building up like a bookclub and about 10 shared on a book that changed behaviour and how –

    next time I lead, I’m taking your idea here and after a time of praise/worship, I am going to invite those I have asked to bring their offerings of worship. Have a time of corperate prayer and ministry … and

    close with offering ourselves as living sacrifices.

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