Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Order of Worship as a Pattern for Participation

Posted by James Grant

From the Prologue to the The Worship Sourcebook:

Scripture does not mandate a specific order of worship. And having a certain order of worship does not ensure that worship will be authentic, biblical, honest, and alive.

That said, a thoughtful pattern or order of worship is one of the most important things a congregation can have to ensure that the norms of worship are faithfully practiced. A well-thought-out order of worship ensures a balanced diet of worship actions. A regular order of worship protects the congregation from overly zealous or overly creative worship leaders who might impose too much of their own agendas on a worship service. A predictable order of worship gives the congregation something to hang on to, something to expect—especially those people, including children, for whom consistency is an important prerequisite for participation.

Most important, a well-conceived order of worship ensures that the main purposes of worship are carried out. In other words, a thoughtful pattern for worship keeps worship as worship. It protects worship from degenerating into a performance, into entertainment, or into an educational lecture.

[HT: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship]