Accessible Worship - An Introduction

My heart hurt.  I had a chance to walk with a couple of individuals who had a heart for sharing Jesus through an alternative worship service at their local church.  The traditional service had become difficult to connect to for them and for people they

Accessible Worship - The Heart of Worship

I love what my WELS Pastors have instilled in me about the worship life of the church.  The simplicity of worship in a corporate setting (and even a personal one) always starts with God.  In its simplest form, Worship is: God’s coming to us (in word and sacrament) and his people respond to him and to one another about him.

Accessible Worship - Encountering Jesus

She was a broken woman in search for something to quench that unrelenting thirst.  Like a person who is always thirsty, there just isn’t enough to fully satisfy or to last much more than a day.  Coming during the heat of the day, when others might not ridicule her, she made her way to a well to get what she needed to quench her thirst.  Except that on this occasion she would meet a man...

Accessible Worship - Let's Be Honest

Worship is sacred.  It is divine.  It is solemn.  Worship should be what I think is best.  Worship should be what we’ve always done.  Worship should be different.  Worship is boring.  Worship doesn’t speak to me.  Worship is what we do on Sunday.  Worship is… 

Accessible Worship - Words Matter

I’m not here to say that traditional is bad or irrelevant.  I’m not even going to say that one is better than the other. But I will say that, depending on the circumstances, one will be better than the other for your context and I hope a look at some of these words will help people in the traditional camp see the value of contemporary/blended and modern worship settings when they are done well and that the other camps will also be reminded of the significant history within the church and to see and appreciate what traditional liturgical worship adds to the Christian community and to the glory of God and the story of his Grace.

Accessible Worship - Worship

I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my favorite definitions that I’ve been given of worship from my Lutheran Pastors is a simple way to understand it.  Worship is God coming to us and his people respond – to him and to one another about him.  One of our realities is that we were all created to worship, to esteem something, to “worth” something and to serve it with our time and attention and respond to it.  We were perfectly wired for this in creation as only

Accessible Worship - Communication

As I’ve had a chance to tour around the country and talk about and help lead worship in a number of different worship service settings and buildings, I have to say that the topic of communication is one of the most important ideas of “Accessible Worship”.  At the end of the day, what we are talking about is making the peace and joy of the Gospel message, accessible to all people without changing or watering down the biblical message that sinners need a Savior and Jesus is the only one that can bring us to life.  Communicating this message

Accessible Worship - Launguage

We would all agree that if we are going to communicate with a different kind of people group that don’t speak our language, visual expressions will only get us so far.  While it is true that visuals are a big part of communication and are extremely helpful if you don’t know the language, we also know that the content of the conversation makes all the difference in avoiding confusion and getting to a quicker understanding.  Those words are important...

Accessible Worship - Entertainment

Entertaining worship can be a negative thing when the focus is not on God and that is always the danger when people stand up and speak/sing for God regardless of the worship setting.  But when our focus is on Jesus and when leaders understand their roles and can lead with servant leadership and confident humility, well let’s just say I hope everything we do entertains people for his sake!

Accessible Worship - Performance

In all my experiences in WELS worship settings, the difference between performance and worship is involvement.  Some of this involvement is directly tied to the way that the contemporary band or the choir or even the organist leads.  If they lead with a clear expectation that the people have a voice, and then work to create space for that voice to be heard, then we move from performance to involvement.  For some people, simply listening is enough

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