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04.28.13

Clearing out the cobwebs

Filed under: A New Liturgy,church,worship — 4:58 pm
spider

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There once was a man who came to church every Sunday to pray the exact same prayer.  Week and after week, he would stand and proclaim loudly “God, please clear out the cobwebs!”  Finally, after months of listening, a wise women stood after him and said “Why don’t you just kill the damn spider?”

And this is why I want to be a worship leader.

Let me explain…  Through the help of a handful of wise guides (listed below), I’m beginning to realize that worship is not only a way that we express ourselves to God, but it is also a practice that forms us into Christlikeness.  The way we worship shapes us into certain kinds of people.  And so my role as a worship leader is not simply to get people to raise their hands during church, but to help us become the kinds of people who use our hands for good all week long.  Our goal is not simply to create a worship service, but for our worship service to create a certain kind of church in the world.

I believe that the purpose of gathering together is the realization of God’s dream for reality:
the Restoration of All things
.  Like Jesus, we want to see God’s Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven,
and so we gather to focus on God and practice becoming the kinds of people who can join in this restoration. Through these prayers, songs, readings, and disciplines, we practice being people who can set our little kingdoms aside (if only for a moment, in the safety of a community) and seek God’s epic Kingdom…week after week…until we actually become the kinds of people who can join God’s redeeming work in our office cube on a Tuesday afternoon.

There is an important aspect of worship that helps clear out the cobwebs of the week.  Hallelujah!  We all desperately need the church to be a safe and gracious place.  I know I do.  But at a certain point, a truly safe community is only safe if it also teaches us how to kill the damn spider.

What does this look like in your church?  What could it look like?  What kind of worship liturgy/service/set have you found to be most helpful in forming your community toward Christlikeness?

If you’re interested, here are some wise guides who have much to teach us about all this:  Ian Morgan Cron, Dallas WillardGlenn Packiam, Isaac Wardell, James K. A. Smith.

3 Comments »

  1. So much of this resonates with me today and where I’m at on the journey as a worship pastor. I especially loved this line: “And so my role as a worship leader is not simply to get people to raise their hands during church, but to help us become the kinds of people who use our hands for good all week long.” Something to really think about. Another book I was reading recently said something to the effect that we will know our worship leading was effective by seeing the transformed lives of men and women in our churches.

    Comment by Matt Cisneros — April 29, 2013 @ 8:00 am

  2. [...] Aaron Niequist: The way we worship shapes us into certain kinds of people. And so my role as a worship leader is not simply to get people to raise their hands during church, but to help us become the kinds of people who use our hands for good all week long. Our goal is not simply to create a worship service, but for our worship service to create a certain …. [...]

    Pingback by Weekend Links | Worship Links — May 4, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

  3. i love the analogy, but who/what do you see as being the spider? maybe i’m missing something…

    Comment by Ben — May 5, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

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