Spoken Word (6/30)

Check this out. This form of worship expression strikes my chords.

It’s like the meeting place of Scripture reading, public prayer, artistic expression, finely-tuned language, rap, and more.

This first video introduces a woman named Amena Brown and some of her story.

This second video gives you a sampling of what I’m talking about. I hope it blesses you, as it did me.

Here’s one more if this is doing good things for you.

The Worship Industry

Go HERE to view a short video on worship by Brian McLaren.

It’s done by The Work of the People, a fantasic website of “visual liturgy” that I found through Derek Webb, who happens to have a new album out.

Did you get all that?

Start with the video, if you like.

Worship is What?!

What follows was found at a blog called My Two Cents.  It’s a couple blurbs from a book I’m not familiar with, but maybe should be.  The stuff below is from a chapter called “Worship through the Ages,” which aims to trace the “evolution” of corporate worship through the past centuries to our own day.

In “reviewing” the book, blogger Chris writes this…

He concludes the chapter by describing contemporary worship–and I mean “contemporary” in the sense of time, not just genre. I think he hits the nail on the head, and I think he describes a shift that many fundamentalists have made along with evangelicals. Our worship has become very “subjective.” Needham explains:

“[I]f we could pick out one theme that has been particularly insistent in the evolution of Protestant worship since the eighteenth century, it would have to be subjectivity. By this I mean the tendency to construct and evaluate worship in terms of the human subject–human experiences, feelings, and responses–rather than in terms of the divine object, God, the blessed self-revealing Trinity, and his will, word, and activity. This subjectivity takes various forms, but they all share in common the view that worship is essentially something we experience, rather than something we offer, and that the quality of that experience is the measure of effective worship.” (Give Praise to God, p. 407, emphasis mine)

After citing none other than Jonathan Edwards(!) as a contributor to this malady, Needham addresses its effect:

“Once the criterion of effect is adopted, the corporate worship life of God’s people quickly becomes a kind of laboratory. Leaders experiment endlessly with what will produce the desired effect–endlessly, because the collective mood and spirit of a people change, so that today’s successful method becomes tomorrow’s worn-out museum piece. And even the effect that is desired changes. Is it conversion? Is it the intellectual edification of believers? Is it a blissed-out state of ecstasy? A breathless fluidity has consequently been introduced into many congregations’ worship forms, so that you may be worshiping God quite differently today than when you were ten years ago. And no one can tell what the next ten years will bring. Worship, classically understood as our participation in the eternal pattern of the heavenly sanctuary, instead comes to mirror the kaleidoscopic flux of time and fashion.” (Give Praise to God, p. 408)

Worship… one of the most used words within churches that I’m familiar with… probably also one of the most misunderstood and misused words as well.

If you’ve been looking for an avenue to throw out a “worship” idea, question, or thought… hey, just head to the comments link and get us going!