Why Liturgy Is Important

https://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/305038-why-liturgy-is-important-josh-jones.html

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Are You Creating Room for the Holy Spirit?

Are You Creating Room for the Holy Spirit?

When it comes to worship, we are obsessive about the atmosphere. 

The pad creates an atmosphere. The guitar swells create an atmosphere. Every intro, transition  and altar call is about the atmosphere it provides.

But the tension happens when the planning of the atmosphere doesn’t leave space for what the Holy Spirit wants to do. Of course, God can [and does] work through Spirit-led, intentional, well-researched, well thought-out planning.

The time and energy you invest in staying ahead and well-planned is never in vain. However, how do we plan and create an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can operate?

I don’t know about you, but I want more than man-made plans. I’m hungry for more than just being awed by incredible talent on stage. I’m not interested in just being moved by a charismatic speaker. I want the Holy Spirit. I need the Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit.

I definitely don’t want to be in the business of getting in the Spirit’s way. Or drawing too much attention to myself. I don’t want to create a fanclub of churchgoers while the Spirit watches from a distance.

What about you?

Read rest: https://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/305725-creating-room-holy-spirit-david-santistevan.html

4 reasons to use hymns in worship

Definitely geared towards the worship leaders, however, I think it is worth the listen. I agree with most of the leaders. Some gave me some new insight and persepective.

https://churchfront.com/blog-churchfront/2018/4/18/4-reasons-to-use-hymns-in-worship

3 Ways The Psalms Should Shape Worship

We often use the word “worship” to describe the portion of our church services where the congregation is singing. When someone asks about the worship at a church, they’re typically asking about the quality of the church’s music.

Truth be told, the whole Sunday service, from the songs to the sermon to the sacraments, fall under the umbrella of “worship.” Perhaps it’s the importance of music in our culture that has led so many to view this element of the service as the essence of worship. A high view of the church’s music isn’t unwarranted, though! The Bible contains a whole book of praises, the book of Psalms, and it’s filled with insights that can help to shape our musical worship today. Here are three things the Psalms can teach us.

1) Modern worship music should help us cope with the difficulties of life.

The Psalms aren’t just a random anthology of ancient songs, haphazardly thrown together. The book of Psalms was written over a period of about one thousand years, and in its final form it helped to address the difficult circumstances of Jews living in exile without a king. The book begins with the promise that God’s anointed king will reign over the whole world (Ps. 2), but as the Psalter unfolds, bleak circumstances make it seem as though God had forgotten his promise.

At the end of Psalm 89, the Psalmist cried out, “Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David? Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked, and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations, with which your enemies mock, O Lord, with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed.” Far from the vision cast by Psalm 2, God’s anointed is mocked rather than served! The book of Psalms thus aided the Hebrew people by giving a voice to their confusion, and it also provided them with a message of hope.

Immediately after Psalm 89, we’re greeted by Psalms which emphasize that God himself is the refuge of his people and their divine king. For people wandering in exile, there is the hope of God as shelter. “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations” (Ps. 90:1) and “For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” (Ps. 95:3) As the book of Psalms moves from lament and confusion over what seemed like failure on God’s part, it culminates in confidence and praise, because God reigns and promised to “build up Jerusalem and gather the outcasts of Israel” (Ps 147:2)

This book of praises helped God’s people to cope with the challenges they faced in the world, and the songs we sing in church today should do the same. The Psalms accomplished this by addressing the issues of the day head on, while laying out a clear picture of how God met his people in their difficulty. To the wandering, God said, “I am your shelter.” (Ps. 91:2) To the kingless, “I am your king.” (Ps. 95:3) To those suffering injustice, “I will come to judge the earth.” (Ps. 96:13) Our songs should extol the great attributes of God that give hope to pilgrims wandering on their way to the New Jerusalem.

There is more at: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/3-ways-the-psalms-should-shape-worship

Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship

Nine Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship

Worship leaders around the world are sadly changing their church’s worship (often unintentionally) into a spectator event, and before discussing our present situation, let’s look back into history. Prior to the Reformation, worship was largely done for the people. The music was performed by professional musicians and sung in an unfamiliar language (Latin). The Reformation gave worship back to the people, including congregational singing, which employed simple, attainable tunes with solid, scriptural lyrics in the language of the people. Worship once again became participatory. The evolution of the printed hymnal brought with it an explosion of congregational singing and the church’s love for singing increased. With the advent of new video technologies, churches began to project the lyrics of their songs on a screen, and the number of songs at a church’s disposal increased exponentially. [1] At first, this advance in technology led to more powerful congregational singing, but soon, a shift in worship leadership began to move the congregation back to pre-Reformation pew potatoes (spectators). What has occurred could be summed up as the re-professionalization of church music and the loss of a key goal of worship leading—enabling the people to sing their praises to God. Simply put, we are breeding a culture of spectators in our churches, changing what should be a participative worship environment to a concert event. Worship is moving to its pre-Reformation mess.

I see nine reasons congregations aren’t singing anymore: People are not singing any more.

Continue: https://churchleaders.com/worship/worship-articles/322497-nine-reasons-people-arent-singing-worship-kenny-lamm.html

3 Reasons Contemporary Worship IS Declining, and What We Can Do to Help the Church Move On

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ponderanew/2015/09/04/3-reasons-contemporary-worship-is-declining-and-5-things-we-can-do-to-help-the-church-move-on/#rEu8EE9y5lXIBwHm.03

Dear pastor, does your church have God figured out?

~ Hungry worshipper

Are you and your team so organized, so wise in your ways, you have figured out the perfect way for your people to worship God in your service? Does it appear that you know just what God wants and expects? Do you have it so figured out the worship of God that your routine never needs to change? You have found the perfect service format. The Spirit can rest easy, you have it all under control.

Whether yours is a liturgical church or a contemporary church, whatever type, it is likely your church service has a predictable format. You and your people are comfortable in the routines. You do the same thing each week, whether it is all choruses, all hymns, strictly following the traditional church calendar, exuberantly all jumping and jiving, or all sedate and quiet, hands in lap. You may have great singing, great band, and present a wonderful teaching sermon, but I would remind you that God is bigger, more majestic, and wonderfully unpredictable. He cannot be fit into any routine.

Ponder this: If your people do not come with an expectancy to see Jesus to find out new truths about him and to learn new glimpses of his incredible creativity, dependability, but also unpredictability, you are likely not be presenting an accurate picture of God to your people. Whatever way your church worships, it presents a certain picture of God. Is he contained within your box? Is he stilted, boringly routine and predictable, or enticingly exciting and with new aspects of him showing every time? Do your people come with a wonder and anticipating and expecting that God will show up in at least some part with a newness and freshness that they look forward to — that continually expands their understanding of him and how he may be worshipped?

The Spirit cannot be confined to a box. Do you really believe the Spirit of God has no creativity left in him? Who can predict the wind? Where it will come from, when it will come, will it be strong and mild? Jesus was continually surprising his disciples. God is dependable, but not always predictable, if your people are accustomed to a set routine, the same words the same songs the same style, the same tempo; everything predictable, they are not being presented with an accurate picture of our great God. There is something missing; something wrong.

You may be teaching your people that God is dull, unexciting, and completely routine and predictable in all his ways.

Might I suggest that you get together with your worship leaders and team and re-look at the life of Jesus. Notice how he was dependable, but so unpredictable; how he often surprised his followers — and then compare that do what you are teaching your people about him during your weekend services.

Do your people come expecting to see something new and exciting from Jesus every week? Do they have a sense that Jesus is really working and the lives of your people and there are exciting things to share and learn about him? Or, do they know every word your worship leader is going to say, every step of the church service so predictable that they have no expectancy and wonder? As we look at Scripture, we see the Old Testament had (priestly caste) worship leaders who did it all for the people. In the New Testament, we read in 1 Corinthians how the people, as priests, now participated and were deeply involved in the gatherings; each one contributed — a song, a testimony, a prophecy, etc. Does it seem we are more like the boxed in Old Testament experience, than the open, exciting New Testament gatherings?

So, do you really have figured God out? I doubt we ever will. Are any of us really able to fit him in a predictable box? We may be worshipping in truth, but have stifled the Spirit. May your people become aware and expect more of the exciting, unpredictable God of the Bible in their worship.