Christian worship

The First Last Supper

I know I am in the minority, but in a culture crazed for Christmas and Easter, my two favorite church holy-days are Pentecost and Maundy Thursday.  I’ll get to Pentecost in about six weeks, but for now I want to think about what makes Maundy Thursday so significant for me. […]

Who Needs a Sermon?

It never fails that when I am looking for something in particular, I manage to find something else I was looking for months ago.  Such is the case with interview notes I took in Colorado, Iowa, and Connecticut with 20-60 year old spiritual seekers.  These notes have been the missing […]

Near Miss Worship

No one sets out to offer vacuous, insipid, superficial, or self-absorbed worship.  Pastors and lay leaders both dedicate themselves to creating meaningful, spiritual and authentic worship experiences.  Yet, at a gathering of 21-29 year olds who have “given up on church” that took place in 2007 , these were the top […]

Worshipedia

We live in a Wiki world.  A collaborative, evolving, and highly interactive way of creating and recreating reality.  Facts and opinions merge to create a new kind of “flexible” truth.  Wikipedia has transformed the way we think about information and the authority of the written word.  Knowledge is built over […]

Worshipping in God’s Absence

Six year’s ago I worked with five Vanderbilt seminary students on a worship project.  They attended dozens of Christian worship experiences in all sizes, shapes, forms, and cultures of United Methodist congregations, then we sat and “debriefed” each experience.  One 27-year-old woman, Erin, an Episcopalian, made an unusual and provocative […]

Wanted: Heart Warmed — Strangely or Otherwise

I sat through another United Methodist worship service — this time bombarded by thumping, lively praise music extolling how awesome, moist, and shiny Jesus is.  (If you’ve experienced ‘contemporary’ praise music, you know what I mean…)  The energy was high, it was the theology that was missing.  Everything was simple and […]