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What helps me worship God

10 August, 2017 — 6 Comments

At the theological college where I work (Carey Baptist College), each week on a Tuesday morning we have a chapel service for community worship, followed by lunch together. One of the things we’re unpacking this year is “what helps me worship God?” This week it was my turn to answer that question and I share it below.

My talk started by going through a whole lot of images and short video clips of things I have seen – with brief explanation. I have included the images below, scroll through them to get to the text, which I have adapted slightly. Continue Reading…

This is a guest post from Mark Pierson, author of The Art of Curating Worship: Reshaping the Role of Worship Leader. He has been a Baptist pastor for decades and is currently the Christian Commitments and Church Relations Manager at World Vision New ZealandLast month I critiqued singing in church services (Church music: a wicked sin? & Majority resort: church singing). In this post Mark introduces his definition of worship:

I’ve decided that the Christian Church is responsible for most of what is going wrong in our world. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and it’s the only conclusion the evidence (admittedly all anecdotal) will let me arrive at.

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In particular it’s the public corporate worship events that the Church offers week after week that are to blame. Church services. These are the events that we depend on for the spiritual formation of the Christians in every church community.

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Last week my post Church music: a wicked sin? used a quote from Saint Augustine to support my discomfort with what seems like an over emphasis of singing songs in church services. In this post I continue that theme with a theory that explains why so many people are bored or disinterested in the singalong part of church services, which perhaps even gives reason to why some people leave the church, or why some never fully check-in.

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A theory I have about singing songs in church is that probably about one-fifth of people are actually “worshiping” through this activity we call “worship”. I wonder if this one-fifth are people for whom “Words of Affirmation” are their primary “Love Language”.

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I’ve never really felt comfortable with what seems to be an over emphasis of singing songs in what gets defined as “worship” in church services, and now I’ve found an ally: one of the early church fathers, [Saint] Augustine of Hippo from the 4th century.

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About a week ago I was driving when Radio New Zealand was playing an excerpt from Davinia Caddy’s book “How to Hear Classical Music (The Ginger series).” It was one of those moments that shed light on some of the church service things I think about. Caddy writes:

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