A new style of worship has been spreading throughout North America and other parts of the world in the last several decades. While this worship approach is described by a variety of names, the one that seems to be gaining most acceptance is "Praise and Worship" (P&W). I want to explain what this style of worship is and how it may affect traditional worship in the future.
Where Did It Originate?
Recently we asked several of our Reformed Worship readers about their understanding of the Praise and . Worship style and its effect on congregational worship. We wanted to know what questions and concerns they had about the movement. Then we turned to Henry Wildeboer, a pastor involved with this style of worship. We invited him to answer these questions from his experiences in churches in Calgary and Oshawa.
Christ Community Church in Nanaimo, British Columbia, has just celebrated its tenth anniversary. We've also celebrated the good news that we've had a real surge of first-time visitors during the past twelve months: over two hundred newcomers have walked through our doors in the past year.
Prelude: Variations on vater unser (Our Father)
Call to Worship: "Built on the Rock" [stanzas 1-2, choir, stanza 3, all]
(PsH 503, TH 351]
OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN
Hymn: "Our Father, Clothed with Majesty," [stanza 1]
Why did Christ command us to call God "our Father"?
CALL TO WORSHIP
This is a day of Thanksgiving. Our God has been very good to us. It is a day for harvest celebration.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you."
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
For this theme issue we are breaking with the tradition of presenting three hymns for singing in three different months. Rather, in keeping with the style of Praise and Worship music, we include three songs that are presented in a medley fashion. The intention is for the congregation to have access to the words on overheads while the musicians play from the music. The transitions and the accompaniment for "Father, We Love You" were composed by Marie Elzinga.
Copy Right! Approved
Congratulations on Emily Brink's fine article "Copy Right!" (RW18). You did indeed get it right. Such articles are most helpful to those of us in the industry who are involved in this continuing educational problem.
Also please thank Ronald Wells for his interesting article on Thomas Cran-mer in that same issue.
George H. Shorney, President
Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL 60188
TOP TWENTY-FIVE SONGS
REQUESTED FROM CHRISTIAN COPYRIGHT LICENSING
October 1989 - March 1990
Children and Worship at Colam
The workshops on children and worship at the Conference on Liturgy and Music at Redeemer College were to be led by Melody Takken-Meeter. However, due to a recent move, she will be unable to attend the conference.
Learning to Worship: As a Way of Life. Graham Kendrick. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Pub., 1985. 214 pages.
Let Us Worship: The Believer's Response to God. Judson Cornwall. Plainfield, NJ: Bridge Pub., 1983. xi, 177 pages.
Worship His Majesty. Jack W. Hay-ford. Waco, TX: Word Books, 1987. 238 pages.
Praise and Worship is "in." But where does it come from?
James was the leader of the first Christian church, the church in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 13:15). His letter is written out of pastoral concern for the spiritual life of Christ's followers. In a very practical way, he addresses the actions and attitudes of Christians. The book of James is a protest against hypocrisy and a call for the transforming force of faith. The apostle's themes closely follow Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.
Pastor," said a young man, barely out of his teens, "don't take this personally, but the most boring thing that we do in our worship services is pray. I really have trouble staying awake—especially during the 'long prayer.'"
This young man's statement bothered me a great deal. He found prayer monotonous. He hinted that he didn't think praying was important. And I knew how damaging his attitude could be.
Like many of you, the things that I value in worship are deeply colored by my past. I grew up in a rather conservative, traditional church without much liturgical awareness. There was good fellowship and vibrant singing (our organist played at the local roller rink during the week, giving a certain energy and beat to the music when we sang). Fanny Crosby was a staple in our musical diet during worship, and we enjoyed having the minister accompany the congregational singing on his trombone.
The first time I took part in a Praise and Worship service I was the guest minister. The pastor of the church and I took our places on the pulpit at the beginning of the service. When the organ prelude ended, the pastor stood, welcomed the worshipers and me, proclaimed our dependence on God, and blessed the congregation. He then introduced not an opening song, but an opening time of praise.
It's the Thursday evening between Christmas and New Years—a week when most regular activities and meetings are suspended. Yet by 7:45 P.M. the Celebration Team members have formed their customary informal circle at the front of our church's sanctuary, just as we do every week.
What motivates this group of people to meet together while so many others are taking a break? That question only briefly crosses my mind as I join them on the carpet and take part in the sharing and prayer time that opens our practice sessions.
Worship Experience #1
The congregation sang one song at the beginning of the service, but they sang poorly. Most of the worshipers were unfamiliar with the tune and unmoved by the words. As a result, when they finished singing, few of them were prepared for the quick shift into a time of reconciliation.
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God."
"I long to worship with freedom, singing songs of joy, clapping my hands in exuberance and worshiping together as we get lost in the presence of God."
—New Member of Madison Square