I just completed reading the book (“The Worship Architect”, written by Constance M. Cherry) and I had shared some of the thoughts gathered, by sharing in three pastoral columns over the last 6 months. They are “Who will be the Watchmen?”; “The Experience on the road to Emmaus” and “Singing on a Sunday Worship Service”. Today, I will conclude my final thoughts from this book.
Cherry Constance in the final chapters mentioned that designing a great worship service is very important, but the best service on paper is not a great service until it is “worshipped” in real time with real people. Participation is the key. I can understand sometime when our pastoral musicians share with us on the various aspect of the music ministry, and saying that they feel discouraged when they see from the front, that many are not singing as they should.
Lack of participation is a growing concern among church leadership and its pastoral musicians. Passivity is a problem.
Is the lack of participation created because there is an issue over the mode of worship services that churches have put in place. Everyday on my way to work, I will pass a church with a prominent sign board listing its Sunday services. And in it is stated, “Traditional Worship Service”; “Contemporary Worship Service”. Should there be a difference, I always asked. Is there a need for a different worship format brought about by His people if they are to worship the same God? Or is the type of service created because it is man’s own doing or his own preference?
In the book by Cherry Constance, she also discussed on types of worship modes, eg traditional, blended, contemporary and emerging. And for most, there are plus and minus. In some ways, our first service is deemed “traditional” and our second service looks like “blended”. Personally, I have been able to enjoy both styles equally. But my greatest satisfaction is only when I have “come prepared”.
I hope this series of four pastoral columns are helpful and would encourage you (and especially the musical pastoral team) to pick up the book from Christianbook.com and do a discovery too!
Elder Andrew Lim