Well, seeing as I had to try 3 times to use the right password for my blog, it has been a while since I have posted last!
Busy summer, broken computer, new baby, and life in general has slowed this train down a bit.
However, here I am, ready to finally post defining “Worship Formation” as I see it. In many ways, this post has been quite a few years in the making, and I am so glad to be able to put words to what has been in my heart for so long. At the same time, I realize that a definition is just one small part of this journey, and I’m still at the beginning of discovering (along with all of you) what this might look like.
So, while I took care to define worship very broadly, as expressing our love for God in our every moments of every day, here I will narrow that view to specific acts we do to worship God: prayer, singing, devotional Bible reading, corporate worship, communion, etc.
Worship Formation then, is simply the process by which our worship practices form our hearts and our minds and in turn, our lives. In fact, there’s an old Latin phrase I found (showing that this is not a new idea) “lex orandi lex credendi lex vivendi” or how we pray is how we believe is how we live.
That is so true, isn’t it?
You can tell much about a person’s beliefs concerning the nature of God just in how they pray. For instance, if you believe that God still holds your sin over your head, you will continue to pray for forgiveness over sins committed years ago. This person probably has a hard time forgiving themselves for those very acts as well (how we believe is how we live). On the flip side of this, you can engage in practices that will shape your beliefs to deepen truth, expand your knowledge of God, and allow us to live out the Gospel in even greater ways.
Applying this to the local church (which has been the point of all of this, really), we need to discover practices for corporate worship that shape our beliefs and in turn direct our lives. Going back to prayer, if we pray corporately that God forgives our every sin, then throws them as far as the east is from the west, and we remind one another that we are released of that sin, we can then know the truth in scripture of the power of Jesus over our past misdeeds. Then, we are freed to live without the burden of our transgressions holding us back (pray, believe, live).
Makes sense, right?
This fall, at Trinity, we have a tremendous opportunity. Our compressed, three service schedule is moving to a more relaxed two service model. With the extra time in our services, we will begin to discover this together in greater ways. We will be able to engage in practices far beyond singing a few songs and hearing a sermon (while we will still do both!) that help shape our beliefs as we reenact the Gospel story each and every Sunday. The hope in all of this is that our hearts will fill up with the truth of Jesus Christ in new and fulfilling ways giving us fuel to live.
From here on out, this blog will move from theory to documentary on how we fumble through all of this and learn as we go. Please continue to support this writing with your thoughts and observations, or, better yet, join us at Trinity in Mentor, OH beginning Sunday, September 7th, it is going to be an awesome ride.
Ready to go?