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The first thing that comes to mind is glory.

Where do we see it?

How do we see it?

What is it?

Helping people see God's glory... in my mind worship whether corporate or individual must come back to that.

That's my two cents worth...

Peter Gunstone

I'm treading familiar ground here...

A major issue for me in worship is the tension between what worship expression has been relevant in Christendom and what is relevant in post-Christendom.

I tend to inhabit the former by and large, but since I was a teenager I have sensed the imperative to break out beyond this. I do try to engage and experiment, but have a sense that ultimately it will be for others from the post-Christendom era understand worship in their context and to form their own expression authentically.

This is not to say that I exclude myself from that place entirely. Rather, I see my function as one of bridging between the former and future expressions. I would like to stand alongside those in a post-Christendom experience, in order to encourage them to do find their own way.

However, there are the many unspoken values of worship (or sacred cows) that can act as inhibiters. The ensuing tension between the inherited and emerging can ultimately be a really creative and engaging one for people, but I think that we need to discern those sacred cows and herd them off into a pasture where they can be observed and understood, but ultimately leave the way clear for those who come after us.

David Derbyshire

Worship has become boring. In a lot of Christian circles corporate worship has become synonymous with music and even a certain style of music – a style that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Particularly in charismatic circles, these sing-a-longs are peppered with banal off-the-cuff contributions that pass for gifts of the Spirit. We need to put in the effort to plan more interesting activities for worshipers that are culturally relevant, at least to the people taking part, if not to the people we want to attract. But perhaps more importantly we need to get back to the Bible and early church practice. People then saw worship as much wider than music and saw the Lord’s Table as the centre of their worship gatherings. What can we do to move churches - particularly evangelical and charismatic churches - in these directions?


how we enable people [ie. as much of the congregation as possible] to help create worship rather than be purely consumers of worship led by an appointed few.

Richard Sudworth

Nice one......Big challenges for worship? - reflecting a series of key tensions for our age:

questions and doubts with hopes and truths,
creativity/individuality with challenges to consumerism,
diversity of spirituality with broad coherence/unity,
transcendence with clear-thinking


Sounds basic and not very "clever"! but worship is more than just singing- think participation for all, words, sounds,atmosphere, things to see, taste, smell, hear etc etc.

David Derbyshire

It might also be worth saying that hype and sensationalism are not the ways to make worship more interesting. We need to be cautious of recent revivalist trends that often smack of psychological manipulation.


hello from Perth, Western Australia :-)
a group of us [men, women and children] have been on a journey outside of the traditional EPC (evangelical, pentecostal, charismatic) church for a number of years (most of us were paid pastors). funny enough, it's nearly midnight and the last few people have just left our house to go home after what was a night of reflection and discussion about "where to from here?"

this "renovation' has been spurred on by the feeling that we have successfully created a safe space for each of us to come and "be". however, in the process of emphasizing safety and tolerance, we have created individual bubble experiences, where we are next to each other but not "touching" each other. We are safe, but not intimate. we are close, but we are separate.

As we toyed with ideas, the concept of a regular "common sacred worship space" was wrestled with. two things that came up for us in this arena are:

1. (philosophical). access/participation - for the purpose of moulding something that can be received and influenced by all people - ie, families, children, young people, men and women in all walks and stages of life (intergenerational). the sharing of a sacred space where the boundaries of individualism/privatization/consumerism are recognized, challenged and overcome.

2. (practical). sustainable - this involves everyday people being able to access physical space and material to explore corporate creative worship expressions. This involves 1. the recycling/redeeming of public/third places - unused church halls, school class rooms, community clubhouses etc., 2. the sharing/recycling of ideas and resources - worship tricks etc.

anyhoo - will continue to follow on from "down under" (have been for a number of years ;-)


I really think it's necessary to draw the line for people between worship experiences and worship as life. If we're not using worship as a way to redeem our communities, what's the point? Was it Tolstoy who said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself"?

If changing ourself comes about b/c of worship, then great! But if our worship is solely about ourselves, then who really cares?

Doug Gay

Worship which engages rather than escapes the world, which encourages participation rather than a cult of performance, worship which strikes a balance between valuing 'set forms' and 'written liturgies' and leaving room for more immediately inspired contributions; worship which can remember, critique, access and re-use a range of traditions from the past; worship which is open to new cultural forms and influences;
Worship which is not MacDonaldised, but is contextualised in local cultures and settings; worship which is locally created and not just consumed or bought in.
Worship in which scripture is used creatively and faithfully - not randomly or erratically.
Worship which includes lament and protest in its repertoire as well as praise and thanksgiving - which recognises the tragedy and injustice of life as well as its beauty and fruitfulness.
Worship which is Christ-centred and Trinitarian. Worship which is child-friendly and open to neighbours. Worship which gathers us, renews us and sends us in mission.

tim maundrell

Firstly, by worship I've assumed you mean songs and that (perhaps a problem in itself)...I've just come back from Soul Survivor and the worship was what I struggled with the most...here are some general thoughts

why do our our songs have to be folk pop rock all the time? do we have to appeal to the masses? (I got a friend who is into Opera...any ideas?)

Does the church focus to much on songs, as if they are the be all and end all of everything? Are they really that important in the first place?

How do we help a congregation to understand the context of songs - why they are written and the state of heart they were written from and for? Can we get church members to start writing its own songs - not just the musical ones?

Is it right to use the power of song (its intensity, volume, atmosphere, etc) to play with people emotions during worship?

I could probably go on...and if you have time I'd love some views on some of these questions...

chris esdaile

I think the recovery of silence and contemplation is key - as a major issue (ie doesn't exist much) and as a future direction (ie please let's do more of it)


Before we consider the form of worship we must consider who we worship and why we worship. Worship is "putting something first" in our lives (all day every day!).
God's perspective...

1 And God spoke all these words:
2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 "You shall have no other gods before me.
4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;

This tells us who God is and what he has already done for us. Worship is a response to this by following Him and living for him.

So what we call "worship" in the narrow sense (ie in a church or service) MUST relate to all of the rest of life instead of being an escape from it.

So my fear is that some Fresh Expressions that use concepts like "Holy Space" do exactly the wrong thing by providing that escape instead of that link to "ordinary" life.

Hope tnis helps!

Grace and Peace


am headed out of the door - really appreciate the thoughts... many of the themes chime in with my own thoughts so that's encouraging. will let you know how it goes and maybe blog about some of these issues later.


Hey Jonny

let us know how it goes, would be interesting to hear how your received what the other folks have to say as well (I'm sure i spotted Ol' GK hanging round the back of new forms at greenbelt during the foundations worship.

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worship tricks

  • series 1series 2series 3series 4

    where i come across creative ideas, liturgies, movies, music tracks, service outlines or anything that strikes me, i add them as worship tricks. i started these in april 2002 when i first began blogging and they have built up over the years so that i am now on the third series. this has proved a pretty popular feature of the blog.

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