This list of worship leading concepts was offered by Dr. Edith Humphrey of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary at the Ancient Wisdom – Anglican Futures Conference, Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge PA today (June 5, 2009). One of the panelists commented “this alone was worth coming for”.
- Don’t call attention to the fact that you’re worshipping during the worship service (it’s like the characters in Spaceballs watching the Star Wars movie to figure out what to do next)
- Don’t meddle with the historical order of worship. (this is in regard to traditional liturgy – there are reasons things are in the order they are and have been for hundreds of years: it works)
- Avoid novelty for novelty’s sake.
- Don’t interrupt the flow of the service. (She offered an example she witnessed of a communion service being interrupted with a skit encouraging the kids to attend Sunday School.)
- Allow for quiet prior to the service.
- Prepare children (and teachers) to receive. (whether it be the sermon, sacraments, or children’s church)
- Allow calm for reflection after reading the Word, and during and after Communion.
- No imposing joy on others. (don’t try to whip up peoples’ emotions; allow room for God to touch them)
She adds: “Watch! This too is the work of God – we need to get our agendas and presuppositions out of the way.”
To read more about AWAF and the speakers at the conference, check out the blog Ancient Wisdom – Anglican Futures: An Emerging Conversation.