Structure in Worship: Good or Bad?

Matt McChlery encourages worship leaders to maintain a connection with Christianity’s rich history:

A couple of years ago during a joint Christmas service with a group of other church denominations in my town, the minister who was leading the service did something radical, and completely unacceptable – he read a prayer!

Well, let me explain. It was unacceptable according to a young, enthusiastic teenager who was with me and who had known no other expression of church other than that of the evangelical where prayers are almost always made up on the spot and are ‘from the heart’. I could understand his reaction to this different approach, however I did not agree with it.

Don’t you find that as we try to do things in church a little more ‘freely’ we have put a strong emphasis on the spontaneous? There is definitely a place for this. Following form and structure rigidly and absolutely can lead to just simply going through the motions and can rip the heart and meaning out of anything – even church. We should and must leave space for the Holy Spirit to be able to move in our midst and to change the agenda or the structure of a service if He wants to.

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Essential reading for worship leaders since 2002.


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