WorshipGod06 Conference Blog

I’ve asked a new question on the WorshipGod06 Conference blog. Whether or not you’re coming to the conference, I’d benefit from knowing your thoughts:

One of the seminars I’ll be teaching at
the WorshipGod conference is called “Healthy Tensions in Corporate
Worship.” I’ll be addressing our tendency to think in a polarized way
when it comes to worship. God is either transcendent or immanent.
Corporate worship should be either historically rooted or culturally
relevant. Worship is either for God or for us, reverent or celebratory,
edifying or evangelistic.

What tensions have you dealt with in your own church? You might
still be in the midst of them, or have found ways of resolving them.
Let us know what you’ve learned or would like to learn.

You can share your thoughts on the Worship Matters blog or here.

4 Responses to WorshipGod06 Conference Blog

  1. phil June 29, 2006 at 11:02 AM #

    How about in choosing music: Being careful to be discerning, to choose theologically sound songs, and yet not being too constricting–clamping down so hard on songs, that they are picked apart to death. We could pick apart even the greatest hymns if we wanted. (Just as you mentioned once, ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ never mentions what the cross actually did– but that doesn’t mean it’s not valuable for us to sing).

    Changing words to popular songs to make them theologically sound could enhance worship, or it could be a distraction–rather than leading the congregation to think, “isn’t our God great?”, it could lead them to simply think, “Why did they change that line? There was nothing wrong with it the way it was. Talk about picky!”

  2. west June 29, 2006 at 11:49 PM #

    One of the easiest tensions for me to identify in our worship is the desire for both expression and restraint. It is too easy to settle the tension with the rationale that those who want to be expressive are just naturally demonstrative, and those who champion retraint are not. However (and I believe your short series on physical expression was very helpful on this topic), the final word from Scripture has something to say to both the naturally demonstrative and the naturally reserved that will call them away from their natural disposition in worship.
    Thanks Bob. Keep up the fine work brother.

  3. west June 30, 2006 at 1:44 AM #

    I was still thinking about your question, and read something from John Piper that said much more eloquently and nuanced another issue I was thinking about – the tension between fine and folk culture (which is really felt in my church with music accompanied by either a $1/2 million pipe organ or my Taylor). We make every effort to “blend”, but the fact remains that many prefer one or the other. You and your readers can read Piper’s excellent article here: http://www.desiringgod.org/library/topics/worship/worship_and_culture.html

  4. phil July 6, 2006 at 9:18 AM #


    How about the tension between spontaneity on the one hand (desiring not to quench the Spirit by being too rigid with a planned order of service, but allowing for changes in direction as the Spirit may lead), and wise and careful planning on the other hand (seeking to avoid laziness in planning or chaos in implementation, but giving forethought and prayer into a well-planned, cohesive service)?

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