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Worship in the Emerging Church: What Resonates with Post-Christians. Dan Kimball, Sally Morganthaler CCN seminar – May, 2005. Definition of Worship. “To bow down,” prostrate Submission to Lordship of Jesus Christ Encounter. The Cosmic Work of God.

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worship in the emerging church what resonates with post christians

Worship in the Emerging Church: What Resonates with Post-Christians

Dan Kimball, Sally Morganthaler

CCN seminar – May, 2005

definition of worship
Definition of Worship
  • “To bow down,” prostrate
  • Submission to Lordship of Jesus Christ
  • Encounter
the cosmic work of god
The Cosmic Work of God
  • Early Christian response to the presence and work of God:
    • Psalms, hymns, songs
    • Prayers
    • Communion
    • Proclaiming the story
  • However we package worship, these are the crucial elements
changes in culture changes in worship
Changes in Culture, Changes in Worship
  • Culture: “VABEs”
  • From Judeo-Christian to post-Christian
    • Post-European
  • Generational issues: music, language, dress, worldview
worldview gap from modern to postmodern
Modern values

Excellence (tightly run worship experience)

Cognitive and conceptual learning through one-way preaching

Sometimes, the removal of ancient or spiritual

Going to church

Postmodern values

Avoiding any sense of performance (relationship and chemistry trump excellence)

Experiential learning through interactive teaching

encounter trumps information

Palette of senses

Sometimes, the desire of roots, history, and supernatural

Being the church

Worldview Gap: From Modern to Postmodern
teens and 20s in church
Teens and 20s in Church?
  • Barna: 4% of GenX in leadership in any church
  • Emerging generations have the lowest rate of church connection of any generation
  • Emerging generations suffer from being “hyper-spiritual” rather than being too secular
  • Ancient-future
  • Multi-cultural
  • Narrative
    • Instead of abstract or bullet points
  • Collaborative
  • From print to broadcast to interactive digital
what does it look like
What does it look like?
  • From primarily cognitive “graphs”
    • Order of worship
    • Preaching and singing
  • to palettes of visual and tactile experiences
from program to gathering
From Program to Gathering
  • Not a performance but hosting a gathering of people to experience God
  • Hospitality issues of atmosphere
the palette brushes
The Palette Brushes
  • Prayer
    • Involves the community of faith as co-creators of the worship they will experience
  • Scripture
    • We are not elevating simply the human experience, but the story of God that catches up our human experience
priesthood of all believers
Priesthood of All Believers
  • Richly textured worship among co-creators
  • Beyond McDonalds to gift-based, passion-driven expression of the community of faith
preaching in the emerging church
Preaching in the Emerging Church
  • Preaching: “heralding” or “proclaiming”
    • Not ourselves, but The Story
  • From: male, up-front, wordy, bullet-points
  • To: oral/aural, visual, tactile, interactive, kinesthetic
how we learn and retain
How we learn and retain
  • 10%: what we hear
  • 15%: what we see
  • 20%: what we hear and see
  • 60%: what we do
  • 80%: what we do with reflection
  • 90%: what we teach
in every classroom there are
In every classroom there are:
  • 2 auditory learners
  • 4 visual learners
  • 4 tactile-kinesthetic learners
  • Chinese proverb: “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand”
the point of teaching
The point of teaching …
  • Is learning
  • Not just a matter of the preacher saying, “I did my job, hope they get it!”
  • We teach in different ways so that people will be more likely to learn and be transformed
creating a culture of dialogue
Creating a culture of dialogue
  • Via small groups
  • Reflection opportunities
  • Post-preaching dialogues
  • Beyond answer-spew and into engagement
  • Early churches met in houses – they had opportunities for dialogue
  • From news-anchor to the blog
    • From “preacher has all the answers” to push-back on the blog
sacred space and environment
Sacred Space and Environment
  • Worship spaces in the Bible:
    • Garden of Eden
    • Jacob’s pillar (Gen.28:18)
    • Tabernacle
    • Temple
    • Synagogue
    • House churches
sacred space and environment18
Sacred Space and Environment
  • Worship spaces post-Bible:
    • Basilica (co-opted government town hall space)
    • Cathedral (pulpit replaces altar as center; no chairs till 1400s)
    • Lecture hall (after printing press)
    • Tent and auditorium space
      • Revivalism reflected in architecture tilting toward theatre
    • Non-religious theatre
sacred space reflects values
Sacred Space Reflects Values
  • If there is a desire for a sense of the transcendent, then how would the worship space look and feel?
  • What value does your space communicate?
    • How does our space help us connect to God and each other?
    • If you value “response,” is there room for people to move?
music in the emerging church
Music in the Emerging Church
  • Recent excesses of musical worship emphasis:
    • Turning the leader into a star
    • Equating music with worship
    • Imbalance of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
    • Imbalance of celebration and lament
    • Music not often enough the “servant art,” too often the “lead art”
music in the emerging church21
Music in the Emerging Church
  • Spontaneous worship
  • Pay attention to lyrics and theology of songs
  • Introducing ancient songs and hymns
prayer stations and interactive response
Not just teaching the importance of prayer but providing actual time, space, and permission to do it

Creating non-chaotic prayer stations which enhance teaching and offer places of spontaneous response

Making sure you have times and places in worship that give people opportunity to move and respond

Offering places of conversation in worship

Lord’s Supper? Offertory? Prayer time?

Prayer Stations and Interactive Response
art in the emerging church
Use of artists within the community

Indigenous expression

Artists, poets, photographers, web designers, hobbyists

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts to make artistic designs …”

Exodus 31:1-4

Art in the Emerging Church
film in emerging worship
Film in Emerging Worship
  • Have clip be a catalyst for response
  • Use film to set a “vibe”
  • Use during message, times of meditation
  • Sometimes more difficult to produce indigenously and thus easier to buy
some final don ts
Some Final “Don’ts” …
  • Don’t begin experimenting, make sure you teach the “why” and theology behind it.
  • Don’t necessarily begin with sweeping changes, but incremental, subtle changes.
  • Don’t just copy another church; make your worship an expression of the gifts and passions of the people God has brought here.
  • Don’t create “worship consumers” by focusing too much on the performance of worship.
some final do s
Some Final “Do’s” …
  • Do start without waiting for huge budget and technology helps.
  • Do keep Jesus in the center of planning creative worship gatherings.
  • Do be mindful of how much money and time we spend on creative worship vs. what we are doing with the poor and needy and in fulfilling God’s call for us in the world.
  • www.vintagefaith.com
  • www.sacramentis.com
  • www.ccn.tv – worship seminars on DVD
  • www.midnightoil.com
  • www.churchmedia.net
  • www.sermonspice.com
  • www.highwayvideo.com
  • www.barnafilms.com
  • www.angelhouse.com
worship in the emerging church what resonates with post christians28

Worship in the Emerging ChurchWhat Resonates with Post-Christians

Dr. John P. Chandler



Copy right John P. Chandler, 2005