I’ve been in my current congregation for about six months now and I know that we have some tinkering to do with worship. On the one hand, we have a solid traditional service that features our choir and the organ and liturgy and is right up my own personal alley and comfort zone. We also have a contemporary/blended service that has struggled to find a consistent identity musically, even if it follows a fairly contemporary order of worship.
The question that we are struggling with is what type of worship is God calling us to offer at Immanuel. I think lots of types of worships please God, but different worship experiences call different people to authentically be present before their God. So who are we? How do we worship most fully? And who new might be led to worship God here if we were more clear about the types of worship we offer? And in the midst of that, how do I/we set aside our preferences if God is inviting us to think about something different?
I find myself treading a very fine line, however, as I craft a worship survey between asking for authentic feedback and asking for people’s preferences. Worship is about God, after all, and not about us… yet we won’t often return to tables where we haven’t been fed spiritually. In the act of worship, we are formed as disciples of Jesus and so our own learning styles and needs do play in to how we worship. I don’t want to play on consumerist tendencies and just give people what they think they want, but to dig deep and invite people to think about how they personally worship God the most fully.
As I’ve read through surveys, questions like:
- What part of the music in worship is most meaningful to you?
- what characteristics of worship would you like to see more/less (formal, spontaneous, reverent, congregational participation, pageantry, innovation, laughter)
- what kind of music enables you to pray most deeply?
- What best describes how much you sing in worship? (I don’t, I hold back if I don’t know the words, I sing loudly if I know the song, etc)
- How important are various aspects of worship (prayer, greeting, special music, message, etc)
are really speaking to me and I’m working to craft a survey that helps us all to think deeper about the big picture of what it means to worship.
Any ideas for other questions?
Pray for us!