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Archive for September, 2009

JD Walt writes a blog that I’ve just subscribed to. He says twittering in worship services may help draw attention where it needs to be…

We have become so accustomed to worship being a “one or few to many” kind of event. We pay attention to and follow a person who is leading music or to a person who is preaching a sermon. Note how the seating is most often arranged (i.e. classroom style).
Social networking introduces us to a range of tools that enable a “many to many” kind of relational and communication dynamic. It seems that this would be good for worship– wouldn’t it?

I guess it depends on what people are tweeting about. Are they tweeting about where to eat lunch after. . . . . . or are they tweeting about flashes of insight occurring to them as a result of being together in worship. I would say the former example cultivates distraction while the latter cultivates attention. A more difficult distinction– are we using twitter to capture insights for later reflection or for present conversation? Latter seems better to me– but former may be ok too.

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Switching to IEMs

From Technologies for Worship Magazine

Your church buys its first in-ear system to replace the WL’s front/center wedge. The tech removes the wedge, and routes the WL’s monitor signal into the new IEM system. At sound check, the WL puts his earphones in and starts to sing and/or play. He promptly says “my mix is different!” The tech responds “nope, it’s the same mix you’ve always had”. Who’s right?

They both are. Remember that with the wedge, the WL heard the monitor signal AND his acoustic surroundings as a total package. Now that his ears are essentially plugged by earphones, he hears only the monitor signal provided, and DOES NOT hear his acoustic surroundings. He relies 100% on the monitor mix he receives. The tech is sending the same mix as before, in the wedge, but the monitoring experience now sounds totally and understandably different to the WL. For this reason, the transition can be startling and potentially frustrating for new IEM users.

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From Church Marketing Sucks:

In my opinion, the opportunity for denominations lies not in their ability to rally around a set of beliefs, but instead in their ability to rally people based on the DNA of the gathered tribe. In other words, beyond doctrinal beliefs, what makes XYZ Denomination tick?

For the Catholic Church, they’re making pretty strong claims on how they’ve influenced the world over the centuries, but their message ends with the obvious ask of “come to this building on the weekend.” Excuse me Catholic Church, but all of the claims you just made came not from weekend worshippers but weekday workers. Yes, church services do have their place for instilling Scripture, learning and listening to the Spirit of God, and for the community of Christ-followers. I’m not suggesting we do away with them.

I am suggesting that we understand what really defines us. The DNA of a denomination or tribe of people is beyond beliefs, it also includes behaviors. These behaviors are the reason why people continue to assemble (or not assemble).

It’s a new day for denominations and it’s going to take more than ad campaigns and catchy slogans for them to survive and thrive. It’s going to take some serious soul searching for why and how they should exist.

I am a member of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) – a declining denomination. I believe that we are living in an increasingly post-denominational world. Since Vatican II the spectrum of Christianity has been lurching back to a center. And I agree with this CMS post – I did not find myself in the ELCA because I was attracted to their doctrinal beliefs. I find myself in the ELCA because I’m a disciple of Jesus that believes serving the world and seeking justice is more important than the business of delivering “get out of hell FREE” cards. I connect with the DNA and behaviors of the ELCA.

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Article from The Lutheran Staff Blog:

Almost two-thirds -64 percent- of congregations that switched to contemporary worship in the last five years saw an increase in worship attendance of 2 percent or more…

Robert Schaefer responds:

When thinking about worship, first I would propose Lutherans need to start with the center — namely it is the Triune God who acts in the means of grace, the word and sacraments. Second, we have a simple pattern for our worshiping assemblies that shows up in the New Testament church and has been used by generations of Christians ever since: gathering, word, meal and sending. Only third does style capture our attention. Here there is great freedom and flexibility in the song and style a given assembly uses to express what God is doing through this common pattern of gathering around word and sacrament. In this context we would encourage an ever expanding repertoire of contemporary, global, as well as classic music and texts to make the proclamation of the gospel accessible in this time and place, while linking it to every time and place.

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Find this FREE video at TheWorkofthePeople.com

Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.

Isaiah 1:17 [The Message]

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Here are the notes from a recent workshop I taught titled “Worship As Evangelism”:

Worship As Evangelism

Here is an overview:

  1. A working definition of worship
  2. The worship/evangelism cycle
  3. Should worship do the work of evangelism?
  4. Nairobi Statement on Worship and Culture / Lutheran World Federation (1996)
  5. REVEAL Study / Willow Creek
  6. Sally Morgenthaler Rethinks Her Own Paradigm
  7. Practical Considerations
  8. Resources

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Switchfoot covers one of the best pop songs ever written (in my opinion).

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