When your church comes together to worship God, do they do so as a community or as a larger group of individuals?


I came across a situation I found slightly disturbing recently. In order to try to facilitate worship in a smaller group of people (about 20ish) I arranged the seats in a crescent with myself on acoustic guitar at the end of one arm (not in the middle) so that we were all closer together. Negative feedback ensued, with one person particularly declaring how, when they worshiped they didn't want to have to see other people and another how they preferred CDs to a live musician where they needed to sing out (this church has a long history of using CDs in place of a worship team).

Now *to me* communal worship is what we do together as a body, rather than simply as a group of individuals. I know that I have argued the opposite to this in the distant past, but that was before I discovered what it meant to actually be part of a worshipping body. So my questions are really:

1) Do you see communal worship as everyone together, almost linking arms, to worship God, or simply as a larger gathering of individuals who worship alone en masse?

2) Is the way we arrange worship (band, gig atmosphere, 'clever' songs, words on screen etc) producing more performance oriented worship for individuals and less worship as a community functioning together?

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We are called to come together in worship to our God, so what’s wrong with doing that. Anyone can worship at home, or in the car or even at work. To worship together, gets us out of our comfort zones and opens our hearts - to be vulnerable and transparent. we are to work together in all things and help each other , not dictate what one person wants, unless it's Gods will.

To me, if you deny a person 'who is called ' to a ministry - i.e. the worship ministry, like say Cory, then you are denying the authority, gifting and purpose of why he is there. So, you are denying God, from what and who, not to mention how God the Father wants to be worshiped


Where is the concept of "denying" coming from? 

The denying comment was referring to Cory's statement that some parishners got stiffnecked about wanting CD's played instead of someone playing acoustic guitar ( as in Cory's comment). There has been a lot of comments since referring to , I guess, the topic.

Ah - thanks. I couldn't find it.

It does seem quite silly. I'm not sure I would elevate it into disobedience to God, but it's clearly not a good thing.

A few times when we've traveled, we stayed at a bed-and-breakfast instead of a motel.  Since the breakfast was part of the charge, it was ridiculous to miss it.  There's always the risk you'll get someone you don't like, or who complains about the service, or that sort of thing; but each time proved to be a wonderful sharing of selves, likes, loves and ideas with each other.  Many times my life has been made richer on buses, trains, potlucks and other venues that force people together.

As a Sunday School teacher the first thing I do to a classroom is get the chairs out of the rows and into some sort of arc or circle. 

But worshiping God... as I write, the idea of thinking of people looking at me while worshiping sort of nakeds me.  I play keyboard, and I always have something in front of me, to protect me; so I can look the other worshipers right in the eye but am "safe" myself.  But I would like to be part of the arm-in-arm community, even if I didn't have an instrument, rather than just looking at a bunch of backs.  Our faces give other people Jesus, for He is "in the midst of us", which seems a little closer than "somewhere up there between the cross and the baptismal." 

How have we generated such a culture, that we prefer to be lonely?

Gentlemen, I think it may be time to close this discussion.


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