Saturday, 13 March 2010

The corporate face of worship in 50 years time

I've been asked to write about this by my friend Sam. I think it is quite apparent that this is a tough thing to write about, seeing as I considerably lack the skills to foresee the future (yet. I'm still holding out hope.) and Jesus may yet come back, which, obviously, would change 'worship' significantly. So if anyone has any of the former skill going spare, I might be able to tell you if the latter is going to happen, and nullify this blog, accordingly.

But presuming it is not rendered useless by the second coming, the first question one has to ask is what 'the corporate face of worship' actually means. If by it, we mean the coming together on a Sunday morning (or any other time of the week) of people endeavouring to be church together, and singing songs, then I would like to perhaps cynically suggest that it won't be much different from the process now. Songs will be sung and music will be played that is mostly a copy and a shadow of what is contemporary to the time.

But alternatively, if by it we mean the corporate life of the church as a worshiping community, I would dearly love to see that involving more social action, making the church go to the people, as opposed to the other way around, and letting people belong before making them subscribe to a set of beliefs. I think this could possibly be the most worshipful thing we could do.

As to whether that happens in a big way - no, I'm not sure it will. There will be pockets of it, but I can't see it being widespread.

The final option is the return of Jesus. I don't even for a moment want to try and presume what heaven will be like. Aside from noting that this will probably be the best possible outcome to it all.


From the sublime to the ridiculous: just started watching The Big Bang Theory. Oh so enjoyable.


Elizabeth said...
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Anonymous said...

In the last days scoffers will come scoffing cheese scones and saying, before we ate it, it was a scone, but now we've eaten it, it's scon. They'll also say things about J coming back, like c'mon, 2,000 years and no show... but hey: the good news is, 50 years from now, it's extremely unlikely that I'll still be here so ... if he's inclined to let me shout out, I should be able to give you the inside track on one place or t'other...

Worship: it's not about singing sycophantic songs to a messiah in the sky on Sundays, it's about how we live here and now every day: as good old George Herbert said, "Seven whole days, not one in seven."

Always bugs me in our church when the Reader gets up after the notices (we have them at the start of the service) and says, "We begin our worship with hymn [insert number]..." — I want to stand up and shout, "No! Let's continue our worship..."

There is hope: big pockets of hope. It's called Living Oasis. They're calling it "Church on the High Street" and it's coming to a high street near you soon...

As for J coming back — personally, I don't think he ever went away.

Elizabeth said...
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David said...

Thanks, Phil. As ever, insightful, weird, and I end up agreeing with you.