participatory worship

One of the main differences between “contemporary style” worship and “traditional style” worship is the level of participation that’s encouraged. It’s easier to do with a group of, say, 40 people, than 2000, but even mega-churches have people dancing and clapping.

I like the way Oak Ridge has added in something like building an altar together to open worship. Actually taking a part in worship — hands on — connects us in a more intimate and affective way than merely observing!

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About liberalreligiongetsloud

Contemporary Music and Worship Director (retired), First Unitarian, Albuquerque NM
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4 Responses to participatory worship

  1. Right on! We started featuring either small or large group discussions in every Sunday service (not before, not after, I mean DURING the service) and it has proven to be one of the top two reasons new visitors keep coming back… and inviting their friends! Even those who are too shy to speak up during the service mention how much they learn and gain from hearing the multiple perspectives.

  2. nightprayers says:

    Sermon shortened to a homily. Yes!

    • Funny you should pick that one out. One of the “selling points” of our contemporary service has been that the content (i.e. sermon) is the same as the traditional services.

      But I have to say I think it often kills the buzz to have a 20-minute sermon. Some sermons are better than others, of course, and sometimes our ministers will use the projection screen to augment their sermons with visuals. That helps take the “college lecture” edge off, but so many of us UUs think that 20 minutes is for living in our heads, I think we miss a great opportunity to connect with the heart.

      What’s the best way to make people walk out of the service saying “that really touched my heart … that really turned my life around”?

      • What’s the best way to make people walk out of the service saying “that really touched my heart … that really turned my life around”?

        Have Christine Robinson give the sermon.

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