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Archive for July, 2009


from The Work of the People

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is that we don’t have to like everything that takes place during it. We can trust that if something doesn’t suit me, it probably is helpful to my brothers and sisters that gather with me. Remember: it’s not about you.

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From Jordan at Northwood Church

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One of the major reasons why the church has fallen prey to a cultural accommodation is that it has become disconnected from its roots in Scripture, in the ancient church and in its heritage through the centuries. . . . If it is true that the road to the future lies in the past, it is also true that when the past has been lost or neglected there is no certain future. . . . When the past is lost, as it now is in our Western world, there is nothing left to focus on except the self.

Robert E. Webber, Who Gets to Narrate the World? Contending for the Christian Story in an Age of Rivals. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 16-17.

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Silence has long occupied an important role in both individual and corporate worship. Its presence implies the fulfillment of a biblical admonition: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him” (Hab 2:20). In some current worship practices, however, silence has become all but lost. Many churches whose worship is strongly influenced by revivalist traditions have dispensed with silence as “too liturgical.” Other contemporary
churches from a wide variety of denominational traditions, whose weekly worship practices have been shaped by either the demands of radio and television production or the influence of the television medium, have abandoned silence as a component of corporate worship from the mistaken assumption that it creates “dead time”—either in the broadcast/telecast of the service or in the flow of worship elements. To the contrary, appropriate moments of silence contribute to the rhythm of revelation and response in worship by providing “waiting space” for the revelatory work of God’s Spirit.

Furr, Garry, and Milburn Price. The Dialogue of Worship. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1998, p. 12.

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4. No one should ever play the melody line. (This is for the vocal team).

The obvious exception is during an instrumental section of a song. But if a vocalist is singing, an instrument can probably think of something better to play than doubling the melody being sung. Some ideas of what solo instruments (flute, violin, trumpet, etc.) can play instead:

  • a harmony at the interval of a 3rd, 4th, or 5th
  • an echo of the melody (“call and response” style)
  • follow the chord changes on sustained notes
  • play a counter-melody (something subtle that doesn’t take away from the melody)
  • when in doubt – lay out!

The rule to not play the melody also applies to keyboard instruments, unless the song is brand new and needs the support. Generaly, doubling the melody can be avoided by the keyboard. The keyboardist can think of their part as a separate accompaniment to the song and not like four-part hymn playing that doubles the melody and it’s rhythm.

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The “scripting” of preaching can, like a bad play, be pre-
dictable and dull. Even worse, it can be manipulative. A play is
said to be “preachy” when it uses the medium of drama to coerce
a certain (and unvarying) response. Good preaching is direct,
understandable, and dynamic, but it also has a certain quality of
open-endedness. It is evocative—it stirs and “opens up” without
substituting for the work of the Spirit.

Furr, Garry, and Milburn Price. The Dialogue of Worship. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1998, p. 11.

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