All good celebrations include the giving of gifts. As we pondered what to give our readers to help celebrate Reformed Worship’s twenty-fifth anniversary, we concluded that nothing says “thanks” quite like a new look and website upgrade.
Articles in this issue:
Have you ever been in a worship service where the spoken, sung, or visual message was transformational? You leave convicted that the old way of doing, believing, or speaking was wrong and it is replaced with a new way. Such was the experience of the writer of Psalm 73.
In this article John Witvliet explores Psalm 73 and what it might teach us about worship today—and how it might provide an example for future issues of Reformed Worship. —JB
Philippians has been the focus for Bible study groups on the campus of Calvin College and Hope College in Michigan during this past year. More than 1,500 students participated in small-group Bible studies, which often included a combination of faculty, staff, and students. A number of churches across the country also joined the study.
What worship issues or needs are of most concern in your church? This question was posed in a questionnaire sent to Reformed churches around the world (see list on website). A sample of what those churches said concerned them the most is found below:
“Training of pastors in theology of worship, preaching/leading worship”
“Inclusiveness of women, youth, and children”
“Training of musicians in theology of worship and music skills”
To help you smile as you read the words of “Worshiping the Triune God,” Reformed Worship has planned a series of articles that provide a framework for studying this new resource. We hope to entice you and your worship leadership team to become personally invested in the ongoing global conversation this document has begun, and to discover how your local Lord’s Day celebration intersects, informs, and impacts the worship, witness, and mission of brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe.
- Je louerai l’Éternel/Praise, I Will Praise You, Lord; Blessed Be Your Name; Joy to the World
The Christian church has a reputation for being a bit stodgy. Our worship seldom attracts criticism for being too joyful or too exuberant—indeed, if we had to make a biblical comparison, many of us would be forced to admit that our worship is closer to Eutychus falling asleep “as Paul talked on and on” (Acts 20:9) than to “the roar of a great multitude” (Rev. 19:1).
Last fall I was asked to lead a workshop at a church in a nearby town. I had never been to this church before and knew only a couple of the people attending the workshop. If I was anxious at all, my fears vanished the moment the door swung open. My hosts warmly welcomed me with eager hospitality. The group was lively and fun, and it was obvious they loved their church very much. “Can we show you around?” they asked. And so I got The Tour.
In summertime, the energy level in churches often drops a bit. There are no major liturgical celebrations; families go on vacation; programs take a break. At this time of year, most of us wouldn’t think of an eight-week series on one of Paul’s prison letters as a way to breathe joyful life into a congregation, but that’s exactly what happened at one church.