On Wednesday, Tim led our staff through a strategic exercise to evaluate our worship service. We looked at what is going well and what needs some work. Brother Tim does so well with this type of thoughtful, Spirit-led, and collegial process.
There is much to love in our service; when people leave Roanoke and CHS they often call me and bemoan the fact that they cannot find a worship service like ours that offers all three components (Praise, Word, and Sacrament); they miss the mixture of reverence and joy. Many also notice that it is hard to find a church where the people in the pews get to do anything but sit, listen, and give money.
Much of our CHS service/liturgy is tried and true and not going anywhere – – we have had the same basic order of service for 30 years, but we all agreed that we need more flexibility, variety, testimonies and prayer at the communion rail. These components were hallmarks of CHS for many years.
We think God, through Praise, Word and Sacrament, wants to takes us more deeply into His Word and into His presence. We believe that God wants to more fully engage our hearts and minds.
The staff are going to spend the next 2 months praying and listening to God to see what He says.
We do not want to turn our worship services into a “designed by committee” template or into Burger King (“Hold the pickle, hold the lettuce . . . have it your way”).
The beauty of the Anglican church service is that, when done well and in the Spirit, it incorporates a rich feeding on the Word of God and a feast at His Table. We are not dismissive of the rich worship of the early church nor do we want to chase fads that soon will become as dated as a 1970’s leisure suit. So many of those hot fads in worship the last 30 years have come and gone. Thankfully, we have a service or liturgy that is time tested and at least the skeleton of the service is used by 80 million people on all continents. To be clear, our highest goal is to honor the Lord and to bring ourselves fully to Him as we worship as a family.
When I became a Christian in 1980, I worshipped in a church that was pretty stiff and honestly did not have strong Bible teaching. But I was reading Scripture and praying to the Lord every day, and I happily prepared for corporate worship by going to bed early the night before and coming with the knowledge that God was alive and in our midst. I learned to come to Church to give rather than take; I learned to bring God myself and the praise He is due as opposed to coming to church simply to get fed by the minister. These realizations changed everything for me.
Pray for your clergy and other leaders as we listen to God.
Make a joyful commitment to come to church weekly and to bring the Lord the praise due His name, your heart, your expectancy, your offerings and your honest prayers.