Monday, September 17, 2007

Blended Worship

A while back, I promised you some of my thoughts on worship. Well, here are a few of them, carefully edited to fit into the space dictated by Fruit of the Vine (a devotional guide published by Barclay Press). This is one of the devotionals I wrote for them over the summer. I may be posting some more of my writing for them here over the next few weeks, so if you use this devotional guide regularly, consider this your spoiler warning.

My church community is beautifully intergenerational, with people from many different backgrounds. Our worship leaders reflect this diversity. With all the different musical styles and selections, many call our format “blended worship.”

But what if “blended worship” was more than just singing different kinds of music? What if our church body made it a priority to blend the worship we work at together on Sundays into our personal worship? If the ways we practice together are such important elements of worship—and I believe they are—how can we help each other practice them all week long? And what if we found ways to mingle the worship of our days into our meetings?

Some ideas may depend on our worship leaders to orchestrate, but we can make many of these connections on our own. As a participant, I can find ways to extend helpful worship practices into my weekly habits. Perhaps the Scripture reading and the music speak to my spirit. Maybe I would read Scripture in the pattern of Lectio Divina or use songs from Sunday's worship service during the week as intentional practices to draw me into God's presence.

Blending my daily worship into corporate gatherings seems more difficult. Many of my personal practices don't transfer well to Sunday morning's patterns. But as I consider how I find space for worship in my daily life, how I sense God's presence as I enjoy nature with him and the way my heart beats more closely with his as I pray with a friend, I begin to see ways these experiences relate to—and breathe new life into—the typical elements of our corporate worship gatherings.

God, help me turn my fragmented life into seamless praise of you.

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