Robert A. Meyering is assistant director of marketing and admissions in the accelerated program for adult degree completion at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Articles by this author:
Some months ago the Reformed Worship staff asked a sampling of subscribers a few questions about worship rituals. RW wanted to find out about new rituals that congregations have developed in the past few years—rituals that have enriched their worship life together. In the previous article you'll find an author reflecting on "the way we were" as worshiping congregations. But this article, incorporating responses from those contacted, offers a flavor of "the way we are."
To Reach Out and Touch Someone
An understanding of personality trite action to perform in the middle preferences may help explain why some people like to greet others in church and others don't. Invariably when a church introduces the practice of turning around and extending a greeting to fellow worshipers, some members are very pleased to do so while others find it unpleasant. Perhaps personality has something to do with it.
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.
Two heads may be better than one.
Duane and Carl are preachers. It's Wednesday noon, and they're having lunch together at Burger King. Over a Whopper and a large order of fries they discuss the meat and potatoes they'll be dishing up for their congregations on Sunday.
This lunch is a regular part of their week. If s also a regular and important part of their sermon preparation.
An item in the liturgy called "Encouragement from the Saints" may seem out of place in a Protestant worship service. Saints, after all, have never fared well in the Reformed tradition. We don't pray to them; we don't celebrate their feast days; we don't recognize them.
The preacher apologized. There would be no sermon this morning. It had been a busy week, and he hadn't finished his manuscript until late Saturday night. He'd typed it into his computer, and that's where it was now. By the time he discovered his printer wouldn't work, the repair people were all asleep.
As the preacher stepped down from the pulpit, the people stared, then started muttering…