BY: JAYSON EVANS
What is the liturgy of your ministry? Sometimes, the word “liturgy” brings forth an understanding of “traditional worship.” In reality, the word simply means “the work of the people.” In its root form, the word was used to describe a civic project, like the building of an aqueduct. Basically, it is what the community builds together. With that in mind, when we discuss our ministry’s liturgy, we are looking at the work of the people of God when we gather to worship.
Every ministry has a liturgy. Every ministry takes on a shape and story. In his book, Discover the Mystery of Faith, Pastor Glenn Packiam presents an idea that has been passed through the church for centuries: lex ordani, lex credendi, lex vivindi. This means, “The rule of prayer is the rule of faith.” Another way Packiam puts it is: “the way we worship becomes the way we believe.”
How do we worship during our weekly gatherings that impacts what our congregants believe? That is a question anyone who has a say over the structure of a service should be asking. Does our ministry draw people into a belief in the true power of God? Does it remind them of the redeeming grace He bestows upon those who believe?
It takes an honest assessment to understand what our Liturgy is building.
In order to find our ministry’s liturgy, we have to ask the tough questions. Does this song really bring glory to God? Are we designing the stage in such a way that it centralizes the worship leader and decentralizes Jesus? Are devoting enough time to prayer and scripture study?
When looking at the form of our ministries, we have to decide if our services are promoting a self-centered, stylized Gospel, or are they providing windows into the beauty of Jesus’ love? Our students will believe the way they worship. That is why it is important we understand the liturgy enacted week in and week out.
Over the next few weeks, let us take time to observe the liturgy our ministries are building. Ask the difficult questions. Cut things that might need to be cut. Add things that bring focus on the Gospel. We need to take the time to see how our worship is developing our belief.
Packiam, Glenn; Discover the Mystery of Faith, 2013, David C. Cook Publishing
Proctor, Stephen; On Liturgy, Icons and Sacramental Seeing; http://illuminate.us/liturgy-icons-sacramental-seeing/
Jayson Evans is the Media Director for the Oklahoma Assemblies of God District Council. He is also the founder of the CREATE:initiative. The CREATE:initiative serves to connect and resource Creatives in the Local Church. Jayson also serves as the Director of Media/Production for Century Leadership. Be sure to stay connected with Jayson through his blog – Worthwhile Thoughts.
// Twitter: @jaysonevans