Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Preaching and Worship
We all know and believe that worship is a lifestyle not just singing songs - at least I hope we do! This morning we talked about where in the worship service should the preaching of the word fit in? Some traditions represented have the sermon in the middle of the service as its central. Some services have the sermon at the end of the service. I have tried, in the past with Mannafest, to have the sermon at the start. After all, that is when you expect peoples attention to be at its highest. They haven't had to sit through the announcements, the offering, the childrens talk, the hymn and prayer sandwiches....
But what does the Bible teach? And what it the theology behind the placement of the sermon. Ian took us to Exodus ch.3. Here we see God initiating Moses to come and worship. There is then self revelation from God. Then Moses responds to God.
So we could say that God's word comes before a response time which could include prayer, singing and/or communion.
Going back to Mannafest, the best times of response where in response to God's word. I felt anyway, that young people sang more and engaged more in prayer after the talk. Now to go straight into the sermon might not be the best practise. We did have a time of praise songs, or a time to prepare the heart.
I felt frustrated sometimes that after hearing a sermon on Sunday morning, the benediction was said and everyone ran out, leaving no time for response or reflection.
I think this throws open a bigger question - what is the purpose of corporate worship?