Worship Services Can’t Be Served Smorgasbord

I have been reading through a fantastic book on worship called “Up With Worship: How To Quit Playing Church” by Anne Ortlund. There are many profound ideas that are so simple yet so easy to overlook when we are thinking about worship every week. As God has worked in my mind and heart, I wanted to share this excerpt from the book with everyone. If you haven’t already read this book, I highly recommend it! It has opened my eyes, and I know it will bless your heart too!

-Tony Mercer


[excerpt from “Up With Worship: How To Quit Playing Church” by Anne Ortlund]

“Let me see: shall I have contemporary or traditional today?”

The game plan for this book is how to bring life out of deadness- how to make the worship service a happening in the local church, maybe your church. Sometimes it speaks to the pastor, sometimes to the worship leader or choir director, sometimes to the organist or band, or to the worship team or choir, sometimes to the person sitting in a seat. But everybody needs to know the philosophy behind what everybody else is doing; so everybody needs to read all of the game plan, right?

  • One thing we learn about how God deals with people is that he does it in togetherness.
  • The children of Israel moved together across the wilderness. That wasn’t always easy.
  • The young, vigorous ones probably wanted to go twice the pace.
  • The young mothers with babies and toddlers never wanted to move at all.
  • It took a lot of give and take, a lot of consideration for the condition of the other fellow, a lot of accommodating. But when it was all over, except for those who died along the way, they all got from here to there-together.
  • They all obeyed the sight of cloud and fire, the sound of trumpets.
  • They grumbled and were punished together, but together they also saw waters part, rods bud, and fire come out of heaven.
  • They knew each other well. They did it all together.
  • The pagan deity Janus was two-faced: one face looked forward and the other looked back. A congregation will become two-faced when the conservatives attend the one consistently “straight” service while the “progressives” experiment with the latest in contemporary.
  • No, no! Put elements of both old and new in whatever the people experience, but pace your people to go forward experiencing everything together.
  • Some older ones will grumble.
  • Some younger ones will want to cavort more.
  • Expect both reactions and help both groups to be considerate of each other’s feelings.
  • Give the people the feeling when it’s all over that they grumbled and endured together, but they saw some glory together too. Together they lost some of the old, and together they gained some of the new; but they all were a body together – conservatives and progressives struggling to put it together- together!
  • After all, every car must have both gas and brakes. That’s the very way it gets from here to there.

24601**To order “Up With Worship”, click here.**

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