As Children of God we have been created to “make a joyful noise to the Lord”, “worshipping God in spirit and in truth” (Psalm 100:1; John 4:24) – to give God “worth”, honour, love and respect. A good definition of worship comes from Luther on the dedication of a church building “that nothing else be done in it than that our dear Lord Himself talk to us through His holy word and that we, in turn, talk to him in prayer and song of praise”.
As part of our strategic plan from 2019 we have been praying for a spirit-led direction to conduct “I can’t wait worship”. While some groups were very happy, there was a growing sense of God moving us to something different.
In 2020 as a response to changes required during the world-wide pandemic we took the opportunity to test and experiment with a few different options.
While we can acknowledge that there are those who want to return to a pre-covid normal, there is also a strong sense that this would be a backwards step. At the first church council meeting for 2021 a Worship Sub-Committee was formed and given authority for consultation and to provide recommendations for the council to consider. We are aware that we need to be careful not to place many more changes around worship. Especially times and format. We need to consider worship for the next 5-10 years into the future.
The aim is to hear people’s opinions and understand the “pulse” of the congregation. This then needs to be considered alongside the needs and opportunities of the community (acknowledging that we exist not just for ourselves, but for those that are yet to come) while trying to hear God’s voice and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Consultation is not decision making. It informs good decision making “Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers“. Proverbs 11:14 (NLT).
The Church Council in June-August 2020 discerned the following values in worship:
“BCUC: Raising children of God” with worship that is:
- Passionately Trinitarian (God honouring, Christ focussed and spirit led)
- Joyfully vibrant
- Humbly giving God the best
- Creatively encouraging faith at every age & stage
We currently have 3 services:
- 10am Sunday: All Ages, All Stages that is neither of the three previous services with Kids worship happening in the hall. (Current average attendance of about 120 including 20+ kids.)
- Monday noon service: currently averaging 35 people attending. Over many months, this has evolved into a more formal style service with the choir.
- Online worship: mostly pre-recorded with occasional live streaming. Averaging about 60 ‘views’.
What can I do?
If you have a helpful opinion about worship in its current form or ideas about moving into the future, please let us know. Members of the worship sub-committee will be available after each of the live services for the next 3 weeks. We have already surveyed the previous cafe worship members and this will feed into the decision making. Over the next few weeks we will have a separate online survey for those who watch our online service.
Think and pray about our worship values, the future of our church, and the fact we exist not just for ourselves but for those yet to come. Let us know with love and grace what we can rejoice and be thankful for, and what might be improved.
The members of the sub-committee are:
Nirmal Robinson, Merle Paton, Jenny Olver, Ann Piper, Ros Duffett and Benji Callen.
Catch us after the service or feel free to send an email (either directly or through email@example.com titled ‘Worship Thoughts’).
Your Brother in Christ,