The traditional church had the form but lost the heart.
The modern church found the heart but lost the form.
Our invitation may be to anchor our hearts in the form,
and join God in the holy tension.
More and more people seem to be exploring the intersection of liturgy and modern Christianity. My evangelical friends often love the energy of our tradition but feel it’s a little too thin. And many of my mainline friends are deeply committed to their roots, but trying to breathe new life into the form.
It’s a really exciting time.
And while there are many people exploring this both/and path, here are three that really inspire me…
Brilliance / Packiam / Common Prayer
(1) The Brilliance. In my opinion, David Gungor and John Arndt are creating the best spiritual music on the planet right now. Their honest, beautiful, raw, and haunting albums provide a powerful soundtrack for Lent, Advent, and every season of life. Check out their newest project – “Brother” – which comes out next Tuesday.
(2) Glenn Packiam: Discover The Mystery of Faith. Any time a worship leader asks me: “So what is liturgy all about? How do I move beyond singing into a more formational approach?”…I recommend Glenn’s book Discover The Mystery of Faith. It’s the most winsome, intelligent, and compelling invitation into this conversation I’ve ever seen. Especially for evangelicals. And his accompanying album The Mystery of Faith fleshes these ideas into powerful songs.
(3) Common Prayer (A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals). This resource by Shane Claiborne and friends is a freight train of goodness. I’ve used it for my personal prayer many, many times, and it continues to influence how we approach Sunday nights at The Practice. Shane and I even got to lead the Willow Creek Community in one of the liturgies (watch video). Most of all, “Common Prayer” connects our inner prayer life with the outer world…inviting us all, over and over, to become contemplative activists.
What resources would you add to the list? What are the other resources, artists, thinkers, and authors you have found helpful?