Home > Uncategorized > Participation in Worship Revised

Participation in Worship Revised

Based on two comments that I’ve gotten I need to clarify what I meant by participating in worship.

In the majority of churches that I’ve been apart of worship has largely been led by the pastor, one (or maybe two lay leaders) and the choir.  The joke is that the choir is often the most important and influential group of people in the congregation, and I don’t really wonder why.  Those people actively participate (through Anthems, etc.) in worship each and every week.

Most people in worship are asked to sit there and occasionally stand and sing, and write checks and put them in the offering plate – that is the full extent of their participation.  We don’t ask people to engage in any other ways (again, I’m speaking of the churches that I’ve been apart of, so if that’s true for you then this won’t make sense)

If a worship service is supposed to model what life is supposed to be like in the Kingdom of God, why do we only have a few people who are truly actively engaged in worship, while the rest are left to passively listen and respond through their voices only.

Some models of doing church seek to really engage and involve people in the worship.  I have found that within our youth group the things that kids really get the most out of are the things where they are actively engaged in what’s going on: guided meditations, liturgical services where they are asked to respond, etc.

I believe we need to allow all people to active participate (beyond just singing and giving an offering) in the worship of God if we are going to convince them that God wants them to be apart of God’s active mission in the world.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 6, 2005 at 2:41 pm

    i agree completely. i think it was back when i did campus crusade stuff, we used to call this ownership. it was always very important to make sure that people felt a sense of ownership for the ministry. that ownership translated to active involvement in all aspects of the ministry.

    teachers do the same thing. i’ve been trying to teach my students how to write and punctuate dialogue correctly for three years. this year i finally had the good sense to make them teach it to each other instead. the result was one of the most beautiful things i have ever seen. now almost every kid in the class feels a sense of “i know what i’m doing.” they feel that they are capable and articulate in the art of writing dialogue.

    and finally, one last illustration. we talked about this concept of ownership a lot when i used to teach children’s church at cedar ridge. we talked about allowing the students to help in the classroom. someone did a study or something and found out that kids who help in church (even if they are only helping by passing out napkins during snack time) are more likely than other kids to stay in the church as they come of age.

    i have no doubt that these strategies that are so applicable to kids would be equally applicable to adults. afterall, most adults are just kids in bigger bodies. :O)

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