Ways to Hear the Word of God in Worship – Sermon

The “scripting” of preaching can, like a bad play, be pre-
dictable and dull. Even worse, it can be manipulative. A play is
said to be “preachy” when it uses the medium of drama to coerce
a certain (and unvarying) response. Good preaching is direct,
understandable, and dynamic, but it also has a certain quality of
open-endedness. It is evocative—it stirs and “opens up” without
substituting for the work of the Spirit.

Furr, Garry, and Milburn Price. The Dialogue of Worship. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1998, p. 11.

Ways to Hear the Word of God in Worship – Music

For worshipers sensitive to the aesthetic dimensions of well-
crafted music performed convincingly, experiencing such a
moment in the context of worship can serve as a vivid reminder of
God the Creator, who, in fashioning humankind in the divine
image, graced persons with their own creative gifts. As Robert
Mitchell noted in Ministry and Music, “Through the arts, espe-
cially through music, the transcendent, the ineffable, the
incomprehensible may be encountered as God’s Spirit brings
revelation to our human spirit.”

Furr, Garry, and Milburn Price. The Dialogue of Worship. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1998, p. 10.

Ways to Hear the Word of God in Worship – Scripture

Given the clear precedent for the reading of scripture in wor-
ship, and given the importance attributed to scripture as the
“Word of God,” it seems curious that in a number of evangelical
churches the weekly reading of scripture is limited to a few verses
heard immediately before the sermon. By contrast, in other wor-
ship traditions one might encounter an Old Testament lesson, a
Gospel lesson, and an Epistle reading in the same service, as well
as the reading or singing of a psalm. For settings in which the
reading of scripture in worship is minimal in current practice, the
inclusion of additional readings would be appropriate. The use of
a lectionary can provide helpful guidance to the inclusion of a
wider scope of scripture readings.

Furr, Gary, and Milburn Price. The Dialogue of Worship. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 1998, p. 9.

14 Signs that Worship Renewal is Needed

14 Signs that worship renewal is needed:

  1. Passive congregation that lacks enthusiasm/joy
  2. Guests are not welcome or drawn into the community
  3. Cerebral worship oriented exclusively toward teaching
  4. Evangelistic worship oriented exclusively toward conversion
  5. Weak communication in leading and preaching
  6. Long sermons that lack application
  7. Communion is infrequent and tacked on when used, often looking like a funeral
  8. Classroom formation seating
  9. Lifeless singing and limited range of music
  10. Structure of order
  11. Christian year not followed
  12. Use of the arts shunned
  13. People not involved in responses/antiphons/passing the peace
  14. Senses are not engaged in worship