When I first arrived as the new associate pastor at a congregation I once served, I found the church trying to recover from a conflict involving my predecessor. He had been advocating more "praise-oriented" worship at the two Sunday morning traditional services. And he had lost the dispute. Upon his resignation, a significant number of the younger families left the congregation. Many of those remaining were still asking for an alternative to our traditional Lutheran service.
Articles in this issue:
It's happened. YouVe been asked by the worship team or pastor of your church to lead in prayer in a worship service or other public meeting. "Me?" you think to yourself, your heart pounding. "Pray in front of all those people? Isn't that the pastor's job?"
Jeff, a teenager, was phasing out of Shawnee Park Church. He was dabbling in the occult and living loose. But then he found TIME-OUT! Before long, Jeff had recommitted his life to Christ and had become a sound technician for the service. Now he's in church every Sunday—whether he's on duty or not—because he has found a way to serve Jesus, and he's excited about it.
Just what is Reformed worship, anyway?
It is possible today to go to a church in the Reformed tradition and find worship influences from all sorts of directions— low and high church, charismatic and evangelical, liturgical and . . . well, of course, Reformed. Such variety raises the question in many minds of whether there is anything distinctive about Reformed worship.
Prayer is the heartbeat of worship— our living, vital entrance into the presence of God. It is also often the part of the worship service in which most people's minds go to sleep.
Is it possible to write prayers for worship that powerfully bring people into God's presence? Can written prayers help us to shake off the lethargy of our congregational prayers? Yes, it is possible—if some basic spiritual principles are followed.
You asked that nice couple to join your Koinonia class. They were new in town, so you told them all about agape and diakonia at your church. But they said they weren't too sure. They said they'd think about it. They said it all sounded like Greek to them.
What happened at the Delaney Street Church is so remarkably fascinating and yet unsettling that it's impossible to understand the phenomenon without a summary of the initial events. Please, allow me.
Pastor Smithson is a fine man. If humility is the first of virtues, one could call him a saint. He's neither a showman nor a shaman. And believe me, he doesn't enjoy controversy.
All Christians have big celebrations on Christmas and Easter. But I wonder how many churches remember and celebrate the day of Pentecost. When I look back at my church life at home, I cannot remember having a special celebration service on the Sunday of Pentecost. Maybe that is the Korean Presbyterian Church way. But I do not think it's the right way.
Our guide for worship is Paul's letter to the Colossians. This epistle celebrates the lordship of Jesus Christ, reminds us of our "Freedom to Serve," and calls us to live in the fullness of our union with Christ. The order of worship mirrors the outline of this epistle, with hymns and prayers that serve to help us live into the truth of Paul's message.