The Urge to Grow

Thanks for your encouraging words in “All Churches Great and Small” (RW 69). We at Home Acres Reformed are one of the “small” churches. We are growing—slowly—but this is our challenge. As an urban congregation in a unique community, how do we structure/present worship to attract our neighbors?

We have fantastic opportunities and we need to embrace them in a most effective way, as we present the wonderful love of God.

Rich Baukema, Sr., pastor
Home Acres Reformed Church,
Kentwood, Michigan

Ordination and Worship Leadership

The matter of ordination and what it really means (“Q&A: On Ordination and Worship Leadership,” RW 69) is something the church has always had to review and at times refine. I really appreciated your clear and sensitive way of responding to these questions, which I believe will continue to arise as we expand the role [of lay people] involved in worship leadership. I was surprised that historically officebearers in the church were active worship leaders. While some on our church council might cringe at the thought of leading worship, spiritual maturity and leading worship are one of the keys we’ve historically linked in ordination.

Another key is the link between the Word proclaimed and other acts of worship. Most significantly, that has been exercised in tying the preaching of the Word and the administering of the sacraments. If we expand this principle beyond sacraments we might also need to look at ordaining those who are regular worship leaders, who “bring God’s Word” to the congregation in a call to worship, call to confession/assurance of forgiveness, or other places in worship in addition to the sermon.

This may be a good way to guide a larger number of emerging worship leaders and our congregations with good spiritual direction and care in our faith community.

Carl Leep, pastor
Oak Hills Christian Reformed
Church, Portland, Oregon

Reformed Worship 71 © March 2004 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.