Lisa Stracks (firstname.lastname@example.org) helps plan and lead worship at Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor, MI. She is also a member of the Reformed Worship editorial council.
Articles by this author:
- Planning and Leading Worship When You're Tired, Grumpy, or Grieving
If we’re honest with ourselves, we know we’re not always in the “right” frame of mind to plan or lead worship. Much as we might hate to admit it, outside factors do affect our view of worship at a Tuesday night planning meeting or a Sunday morning service. We may be struggling with financial issues, grieving the loss of a friend, or dealing with a family member’s difficult illness. Or we may just be tired and crabby after a long day or a traffic jam.
Sometimes things start out all wrong, but somehow end up gloriously more than just all right. Such was the case with an adult baptism service on the shores of Lake Michigan one August Sunday morning.
Ever been scheduled to both take the offering and play the offertory during the same service? Found yourself the sole soprano while singing hymns? Been locked out of your worship space because the only two keyholders were both out of town? If so, you probably belong to a smaller congregation.
It started innocently enough with the Advent wreath. Each Sunday during Advent an individual or a family from our congregation came forward after the greeting to read a
passage of Scripture and to light a candle. Because of space constraints, our congregation does not have a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day service, so at the end of the fourth Sunday we lit the Christ candle, a big pillar candle, and sang a Christmas hymn right before the benediction.