Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Week of: October 8, 2017
Scripture: Matthew 21:33-46
Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be ... given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.
(Matthew 21:43, NRSV)
If your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, you’ve seen “The Perfect Worship Service.” It’s a clever little meme featuring some frequent critiques of worship services. Does this sound familiar?
“More fast songs in the opening praise time and more slow songs in the opening praise time.” “More of those wonderful, lovely old hymns and less of those stupid, dead old hymns.” “Songs to be sung in higher and lower keys.”
It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about how worship “should be.” And, more often than not, the comments that we receive as leaders of worship center on the aesthetic. Our congregations want what they want – familiarity, beauty, quality.
All of these are perfectly legitimate, even admirable, desires. But worship quality does not exist for its own sake. Rather, when we strive to achieve aesthetic beauty or thematic coherence, we do so with the aim of orienting our congregations toward God. We strive to bear fruit.
The hard reality for worship leaders is that sometimes what we want to hear and what we need to hear are different. Let us ask not merely, “What will my congregation like?” but, “What does my congregation need in worship in order to bear fruit?”
Nurturing and challenging God, give us the courage to offer you worship that produces the fruit of your kingdom. Amen.
Creative Worship Director
The Table Atlanta