Effective Worship Services?

John Ortberg is the Senior Pastor of the 4,000 member Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) and the author of multiple books on spiritual formation.  In the Spring 2011 edition of Leadership Journal, he wrote an article entitled "What Does God Think of Entertainment," in which he set forth his view on what a successful worship service looks like: The primary criteria for the effectiveness of a church service is not "holding people's attention."  It's not compliments after the service or growth Read More …

Face-to-Face vs. Digital/Virtual Worship

Chuck Fromm has spent his life in the worship music business.  Currently he is the publisher and founder of Worship Leader Magazine.  Previously he served for twenty-five years as president of Marantha! Music, which he bought from his uncle Chuck Smith.  His doctoral dissertation is  titled Textual Communities and New Song in the Multi Media Age: The Routinization of Charisma in the Jesus Movement. In the March/April 2011 edition of Worship Leader Magazine, Fromm writes about new media and Read More …

Invocation for Sunday, February 20

Unison Prayer of Invocation We are gathered here to join in the song of faith.  In a world that offers goods and services to fulfill even the most demanding and discerning appetites, Jesus invites us to be consumed by an ultimate hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Even as our instantaneous access to information and constant awareness of global events overwhelm and desensitize us, Jesus invites us to be difference makers by extending love to all.  Empowered by the Spirit, may our lives Read More …

Call to Worship for Sunday, February 20

Call to Worship We have come - from our homes and hotels, from a few blocks and from many miles - intent on entering this beautiful building built by human hands Settling into our seats we realize our task isn’t admiring the architecture, but rather experiencing and reflecting on the holy Aware of God’s presence, we begin to make meaning of words from Holy Scripture: From the first testament: Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy (Lev. 19:1) From the second testament: Be Read More …

Online Worship: Should My Church Offer It?

What it means to be church, especially in the area of worship, has changed dramatically due to recent technological advances.  Douglas Estes'  SimChurch (2009) continues to be an important book in this emerging field (you can read my review here).  In that text Estes focuses on this new way of being church, which he labels third wave.   In the first wave churches used the virtual world as a marketing billboard, primarily via a website with little or no interaction.  The second wave offered a Read More …