9 comments Written on February 22nd, 2013     
Filed under: Culture, Dangerous Worship, Formation, Liturgy

Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Pastor of Worship Arts at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.

Have you ever considered how worship gatherings fit into the context of discipleship?

The connection is actually quite strong. To be honest, I had never really thought about it much until I was at a conference a few months ago, and Mindy Caliguire spent a great deal of time talking about discipleship (it turns out that’s what she does at Willow Creek). One of the things she mentioned was that discipleship, while it’s often looked at as a small group or one-on-one sort of responsibility, can be a large group practice. We learn and grow together not only as we read or have conversations, but also as we engage corporately, as the combined voices and minds and hearts of many.

It’s a perspective that should change the way we approach crafting worship gatherings.

For one, the music takes on a new significance; it’s a part of the process of forming all of us into the image of Jesus. These are not a random assortment of songs we enjoy singing; they must be carefully chosen and rehearsed. Furthermore, every part of the music – not just the words – must be carefully thought through; lyrics incorrectly paired with style or flavor changes the way we tell the story. The order of music – and of the whole gathering, from music to liturgy to message, even to the announcements – matters because in the environment that we choose to create people will have a better chance (or not) of connecting with the Creator.


What we are doing is helping people make connections, because that’s what a good story does. In the process of crafting a worship gathering as story, we can help our congregations connect what they learned last week to the next week; we can help them connect to creation and to each other; we can help them connect to their Maker and Redeemer.

The thing about connections is that they don’t happen to us; we have to participate in them. Nobody can connect me to God without my permission and conscious engagement – nor to my neighbor. Connections – true, meaningful, lasting, deep connections – happen in the midst of discovery. On some fundamental level, we do not own those connections unless we discover them for ourselves.

Which begs a question: what story are we telling?

Does the story we are telling in and with our gatherings help make those connections, that discovery? To help others to make discoveries, should we be giving answers, or asking more questions? Is it possible that by providing simple answers (how complex could those answers possibly be with only an hour or less to give them?) we’re robbing those in our care of the joy of discovery?

More to the point, what is the nature of the content? If the gospel we preach is so revolutionary and could change the world, it’s a dangerous story to tell. Do we tell dangerous stories or sing dangerous songs? Since God is always advancing towards us – the gospel is always advancing – our gatherings are one of the places that heaven and earth can intersect, overlap, collide.

Connect …

… if we let them.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

9 comments “Connect”

Best yet Chris, many thanks! I think we often compartmentalize.. not good. Nice writ, kudos, -Glenn

Report This Comment

Excellent! I have long been convinced that corporate Worship, besides its own inherent value, is also a powerful evangelism and disciple-making venue.

Report This Comment

Thank you Chris! Fantastic post & what a great reminder as I plan & shape worship services. We have GREAT responsibility! 

Report This Comment

Yes! Thanks Chris! This is much of what I try to express to people when I am talking about the importance of what goes into crafting worship services!!!

Report This Comment

I love that the picture you see on the Covenant web page for “what we do: make and a deepen disciples” shows a bunch of young people worshipping together. Check it out.

Report This Comment

Anointed words Chris. I plan on reading this to my team Sunday morning.

Report This Comment

The Rick Lindholtz comment links well to remarks Doreen Olsen made on the Covenant acronym, GROW and ordering worship under Christian Formation!! It incited me to share this quote with her:

“Many people sing the songs of the church with little thought to there meaning and theological import. Yet it might be argued that nothing shapes the faith and practice of the church more than its music. Any person training for ministry today needs to take seriously the music of the church, reflecting on its origins, its relationship to the surrounding culture, its role in nurturing faith, its ability to mobilize God’s people to action, its capacity to reach those outside the community of faith.” Dr. James R. Krabill

Report This Comment

Chris, thanks for sharing this.  I believe this and have witnessed growth in people’s lives as a song, word of witness, scripture speaks into their lives.   In community as we worship, God is working in us and shaping us.   I see worship as pastoral care too.  Thank you so much for this post, I enjoyed reading it!
Lisa Eastman
Faith Covenant 
Sumner, WA

Report This Comment

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog