Introductions to Emergent Worship

Today at worship I planned and led a different worship service than that to which the congregations were accustomed. We had a good day, I preached one of my best sermons so far, and I could feel the Holy Spirit moving in that place in spite of me. We sang songs they didn’t know, introduced the Lord’s Prayer in Sign Language, and had a different order of worship.

Here’s the intro that I gave at the beginning of the service, a warning in a sense:

This is not a church conforming to the world, attempting to be relevant to the world. Too often the church has accommodated to what is popular, in an attempt to draw in seekers.  Jesus is relevant by himself. Our service today, our worship today is designed to be a representation of one of the ways that the youth of my generation choose to participate in worship.

There may be things that make you uncomfortable, songs you will not know, tempos that you are not used to. This is actually part of the point. It is not that one way is right and the other wrong; they are just different ways of praising God. In a way, today’s worship is designed to demonstrate what it feels like to come to a service where everything is new and unexpected. For some of you, this may be the first time you are in worship here and we welcome you in our journey of discovery. Since I cannot take each of you to a service where the things that we do today are commonplace, we will attempt to bring that feeling to this place today. Part of that is because I as a worship leader have my limits, and I desire to do my very best in the Lord’s service. None of these songs are cutting edge, some were not even written in this century.

If I could do this and also avoid not being the center of attention, I would do it, because one of my critiques of this worship style is the dependence and focus on the worship leader. So please use my direction today as a guide to help you worship deeper today. I pray that you will turn your mind away from what is distracting and instead focus on the spirit that has promised to come in this place where we do worship God. As it says in Matthew 18:20 [HCSB] “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” So let us feel God moving within and among us as we worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit today.


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