In the last few posts I unpacked the three broad characteristics of Christian worship as defined by the BiFrost Arts curriculum. Read more about the curriculum here. The curriculum asserts that Christian worship will be Biblical, Trinitarian, and Redemptive.
The fourth broad characteristic of Christian worship is that it is Participatory.
Participatory worship helps to challenge two idolatries:
If the preacher/pastor is doing all of the heavy lifting, then we are tempted to check out of the rest of the service. "It's all lead up to the sermon anyway." We might even be tempted to substitute podcast sermons for actual worship attendance, when we are physically able to attend church. Biblical sermons are excellent, but it is easy to treat them as another self help talk if we think Sunday worship is just about me learning more.
So when we read scripture together in worship, read it intentionally. When we confess our sins, may it be heartfelt and genuine. When we hear the promise of the gospel that our sins are forgiven in Jesus, take it in deeply. When we listen to musicians or soloists we do not have to be passive. Listen actively, searching for God's glory in what is being sung or played. The work of our worship is actively receiving the finished work of Jesus.
Anthony is the Director of Worship and Communications at Arden Presbyterian Church in NC.
Recommended Music for Worship
Keith & Kristyn Getty
The Worship Pastor
With One Voice
Look and Live
Rhythms of Grace
The Worship Architect
The Stories We Tell
Christ Centered Worship