Sunday, January 07, 2007

shopfront worship?

Tricky question: given that Sunday morning is both the main gathering for worship for the congregation, and the main 'shop window' for new members to the church, which takes precedence in deciding how to structure the service, and what to put in it? And if your church (as ours does) has cell groups, with a chance for worship and teaching midweek, does that make any difference?

The question is provoked by being in our main service this morning, a little tired, I must admit, after a new neighbours party last night, wondering if the words "we will magnify, we will magnify, the Lord enthroned in Zion", would mean anything at all to a newcomer. (I even wondered how much they mean to me after singing this one regularly for 20 years.) This also touches on what's pejoratively called the 'dumbing down' of worship - how far do we dispense with churchy content in order to make it easy for people to access what we're doing? Alternatively, if the Holy Spirit is present then according to 1 Corinthians 14 a newcomer will recognise the presence of God among his people when we are truly worshipping. So does that torpedo the idea of making services newcomer-friendly?

1 comment:

  1. hopefully this wont come out all jumbled... if the service is totally new comer friendly is it going to serve the need of the current church as well as the new comers? surely its ment to be a clever balance between... and maybe thats a balance that only god can give/create... i dont know... im writing whats coming into my head! o.. and check out the new pictures on my blog from sunday night there pretty impressive!