The trouble with attending these kinds of conferences (see previous post) and trying to blog about them is that there is just so much to do that it fills all my time and I hardly have the time to do any of the processing I intend to! I can't post very well throughout the day because there's not enough time between things (unless I decide to be entirely anti-social... which is tough when there are friends to see!). And I can't really process it all at once at the end of the day because there's been so much I can't keep it straight, or you'll end up reading the epic longest (and boring-est... let's pretend that's a word) posts ever.
When I get the chance, I've decided I'll post "nuggets" or certain, brief epiphanies I have had throughout the conference and leave it at that. You won't have to read more than a few lines, and if more dialogue is needed it can happen in comments or in... imagine this... actual interaction! :)
That reminds of of something I just heard Marva Dawn say regarding technology as a "principality & power"... because certain technologies become idols for some of us, many of us have lost the abilities that help to create and build community... not a new idea, but a timely one.
One additional "nugget" for now... Jamie (James K. A.) Smith had a session about "Postmodernism, Worship & Evangelism" where at one point the concept of worship as evangelism (one also espoused by favorite worship writers of mine, like Marva Dawn and Harold Best) was discussed. The idea was raised in the same way I've heard it talked about before with regard to the Emerging Church and the way that conversation challenges the church be hospitable to the seeker and the stranger, but by welcoming them into the liturgical practices of the community, strange as they may be, and that way they are drawn into an authentic faith as lived by that community (as opposed to a watered-down version that is "seeker-sensitive").
I understand how that can function as evangelism very effectively in this culture... but I challenged the idea somewhat because it still only reaches the folks who actually choose to walk into our building at some point. My question was how does this paradigm of "worship as evangelism" permeate life outside of the walls of our churches and have a life where the rubber meets the road for outreach to those who would otherwise not step foot into the church.
As soon as I asked the question, I had already answered it... as it had been answered by Harold Best and others who talk about the continuous life of God-ward worship the Christian is called to live. Our worship--in how our lives glorify God in our daily routines, activities, choices and interactions--truly is our most effective evangelism. As we let people glimpse the new way of life Christ has called us too, we can then invite them to join us in that life... and more importantly invite them to the One who pours out on us the grace to which that life is a grateful response, and the Spirit that makes that life possible.
Grace to you!
Friday, January 30, 2009
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My experience suggests that those who invest in the regular practice of worship come to ingest the meaning of various moves and elements of worship - sometimes in their own language as opposed to the official language of the ordo. When this ownership of the meaning of worship takes place, then experience shows me that people start stumbling into connections in daily life. This is close to matching the experience of worship throughout the week as you named.
This kind of "taking worship into the world" is different from the kind described on the front page of the Trib this morning: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-big-screen-religionjan31,0,7518602.story .
Come home safely!
Good thoughts...especially appreciated the truth that we don't need to water things down in order to reach out...and of course the truth that worship is about more than the songs we sing! Blessings to you!!!
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