In the upcoming week I will be meeting with DMin students to talk about renewal. These students are all active in ministry as leaders and thus are in the habit of leading others by discipleship, counseling, teaching, mentoring, preaching, worship leading, etc. Leaders tend to be servers rather than takers. This is why many ministry leaders find themselves spiritually dry and lonely. Put a leader in a conflictual relationship with those he or she serves and dryness becomes major depression.
One of the important tasks of ministry leaders is making their own relationship with God a priority. Too often their spiritual disciplines exist only in the preparation for ministry activity. In other words, as they consider what to say or do with others, they may apply what they are studying to themselves. While this is a great benefit of teaching–teaching self first!–it ought not be the only form of renewal for the leader.
One of the best ways to pursue renewal is to use all of the human senses, hence the title of this blog. Too often we evangelicals use our head and think about worship. But what if we were in the habit of following our orthodox or Anglican brothers and sisters? What if we were more inclined to use silence, visuals, smells, and bells?
Consider your last worship time. What did you do? Read? Sing? Imagine? Listen? Move? Which of your senses do you commonly leave out of the worship experience? Which do you commonly use most of the time? How might using less used senses add to the experience?
I’m especially interested in the experiences of those who were raised in the 3 hymns and a sermon mode of Sunday worship or the 1 Psalm, 1 Proverb, 1 NT reading and 1 OT reading for daily quiet time. How have you begun to use more of your senses?
One response to “Sensible Evangelical Worship?”
A good friend of mine just got back from spending a week at a monastery, where he spent a considerable part of his day practicing the disciplines of silence and meditation, and was able to participate in Gregorian chants with the brothers. Taking a spiritual retreat like this requires some sacrifice on the part of his wife (who assumes responsibility for the family while he is away), but he comes back feeling charged and refreshed…and he’s going to have me talked into going along before too long!