Monday, June 13, 2005

The Gathered community

We had a visiting worship band and visiting preacher at All Saints' on Sunday evening and it made me think about the importance of the pastoral and community element of worship. I didn't feel that I was part of the gathered community on Sunday evening. It wasn't that the band or the speaker were bad - not at all - but, for me it didn't quite hang together. I find it hard to express what I mean by all this so I hope you'll bear with me.

The peopel who were in church were a disparate group from lots of different churches. The band was from another church community and the preacher was from yet a different community. Now, of course, we are all part of the Christian community and so I shouldn't have found any issue with all this but I didn't feel that the people there were a community. Was it that there wasn't a clear leader to hold it altogether? Was it because the hosting community wasn't sufficiently cohesive? Was it just me being tired after a very hectic day of sport with the youth club the day before? I don't know.

What I do know is this. Worship is not just about good music, good preaching and the good book. There is a need for it to be ac ommunity gathered and for that gathered community to have a relationship not only with God but with each other.

1 comment:

Mark Berry said...

"Worship is not just about good music, good preaching and the good book." Well, I think the latter is somewhat important ;-) but the two former IMHO can be part of Worship but don't need to be... For me Worship is a wrestling match, between my state of mind, feelings, desires and what God has done and is saying to me... it is a conversation with me trying hard to submit and to listen whilst all around me is noise of my own making... I love Mike Ridells poetic vision -
Worship... leaps wet and wild from the bog of captivated hearts; which stretches convention until it rips and allows God in; which draws words and symbols from the raw experience of participants and flings them to God in love and desperation.
What it should not be (for me) is slick and proffesional... if it is it always feels to me that we are giving to God what we can achieve and what know we can do... How about giving The Creator our rude unfinished selves? BTW I don't care how it looks or sounds - liturgical, poetic, visual, musical, silent - whatever, it is attitude that counts [Sermon over :-)]