Thursday, January 24, 2008

Return to Worship

I just finished reading the book Return to Worship by Ron Owens. Owens' purpose in writing this book is to encourage the church to worship the God of the Bible as God deems acceptable. He addresses two audiences: the layperson and church leaders. He calls each chapter a "letter" and addresses it to a particular person or position in the church.
I love his letters to the layperson, where he addresses the "who" and "what" of worship. It is my experience that "worship" is most often discussed in terms of preference rather than substance. By preference, I mean the style of music, choice of songs, or delivery style of the preacher. By substance I am referring to the content of the message, the meaning, the purpose of all elements of a worship service. This is an important distinction for all Christians to consider, clergy and layperson alike, for we often need to set aside our preferences in order to allow the entire body of Christ to worship in Spirit and in truth.
Owens also addresses church leaders. My favorite letter in this section has to do with continuity in the corporate worship service. This value of continuity was modeled for me by the worship pastor I served alongside in Minnesota. He consistently planned worship services that flowed from the meaning of that service's sermon text.
Owens main thought on worship is that it is a lifestyle. We worship God corporately but also individually as we submit and serve in the name of Christ.


Bren said...

I need to read this book. I love how worship is not just at Church, not about preference, not about us at all. Thanks!

Ken said...

Brenda, it was a great book. One strength is that it is not filled with theological jargon, therefore, I think it will be helpful for the church member to read it. Stay warm!