My wife Evelyn and I worship at a congregation which very intentionally invites children, teens, and young adults to engage in worship together. Meadowlands Fellowship Christian Reformed Church (Ancaster, Ontario) does this quietly, almost organically, so that if you’re not looking for it you may not notice it.
Because it’s almost invisible, I’ve conducted a “Worship-MRI scan” so that I can understand it better. Here’s what I saw:
I live just outside Hamilton, ON (Canada), a city of half a million that boasts one professional sports franchise: the Hamilton Tiger Cats of the Canadian Football League. This year the Cats were favored to win it all, under the leadership of their star quarterback, Zach Collaros, until a season-ending injury took him out.
Suddenly I realized that the Cats’ chances of winning it all had deteriorated profoundl. It struck me that perhaps the quarterback is more important to a football team’s success than any other position in any other team sport.
Insights from My College Students About What Helps and Hinders Worship
I recently taught a class on worship and theology to an insightful group of 30 undergraduate students. They came from churches all over the stylistic spectrum, from eight denominations, twelve states and provinces, and three countries.
As part of the course, I asked them to submit brief written reflections to these open ended questions:
“You treated us like we were in kindergarten!” blurted Betty, the crusty older woman who had been a soprano in the choir I directed for many years.
After recovering from her barb, I realized she was right.
“People can’t worship when they’re learning.” I was working with another planner—I’ll call him Mike—on a combined worship service of our two churches. Together we were responsible for selecting songs, recruiting singers and deciding the order of worship. Mike and I shared many important traits: both of us loved Jesus, both of us were committed to the Church, both us wanted true and good worship to happen at the combined service.