curating worship

Along with many others I have been reading, and enjoying, Curating Worship by Jonny. I have particularly enjoyed reading it as it draws from many people who are involved, or rather live in, the world of creative worship and of re imagining church.

Many have blogged about the book already (I am quite slow off the mark) but I particularly like and agree with  Ian’s encompassing comment: ‘what this book emphasises is that this form of worship is a skill, and needs much thinking and engagement with theological thinking, engagement with metaphorical meaning, liturgy and ritual.’

I have been both excited and challenged as I have read this. It has caused me to start to think more deeply about the how and why we do the things we do at the gathering. Some parts of the book have resonated stronger than others; one in particular being that the art of (curating) worship has something to do with leaving space for people to discover the reality of God and how they can engage with whatever is being considered for themselves.

I guess this counters the frustration I have with the style of church worship that I (we?) have grown up with where a person ‘in authority’ decides what a bible passage means and what we need to ‘go away with’ and then sets up activities or preaches a sermon so that we all arrive at the same place with the same conclusion.

I am starting to feel everything needs to be a little more open, a little more permission giving so that we can really hear what it is that God wishes to share with us. I guess it has amazed me for the last few years that we speak of a ‘great big God’ and a God that do anything and is all powerful …. and yet we try to confine God and cause God to act in a way that we want God to act.

If God is so big and so mighty why do we feel a need to control so that we all believe the same? Surely, if God is so big and great, then God can get the message across if we allow the space for God to do so? For this to happen, I wonder whether our worship needs to be more open ended rather than aiming to get people to a particular ‘point’.

I think (hope!) that is what we are trying to do in the gathering. I think we are trying to allow people to discover God in their lives and where they are and so respond in a  way that is meaningful to them. I think there is a desire that we plan to allow God to find us where we are.

Sometimes this is confusing to explain and a lot of time we don’t get it … but I do think it is a healthy kind of confusion.

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