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12: Worship in the Early Church – Teaching Plan — 5 Comments

  1. what do you think about media and worship??

    just wondering.
    here is where I'm coming from

    Worship Ministry - What is it? Can Media and Music in Worship Be 'too much'? :

    • I think you are probably going to get a different answer from each person you ask.

      For me rock just doesn't do it. Perhaps it is because I see a lot of performance issues involved but I also must be truthful and say that I also see a lot of self in many classical music performances as well.

      To me the point of the matter is where the focus is. If a person is doing the music for sake of applause or appreciation then it is wrong no matter what kind of music it is.

      We need to also to note that a musician is going to relate to music differently than someone who is not musical. For me who can only make a joyful noise a good sermon rates much higher than the best music man can produce. All things being equal, it seems to boils down to personal taste and what brings you into a personal relationship with God.

      Certainly, there are other issues to consider as well but I think that focus is probably the main one.

    • I have been involved in producing media for worship for a very long time - since the days of overhead projectors (remember those?) Here are a couple of my thoughts:

      For me personally, being involved in producing visuals for church has meant that I have been involved in worship. It is not a vicarious experience. It is participatory. Typically I will spend about 4 hours in actual production of visuals for a church service and that involves creating theme slides and selecting photographic backgrounds for the hymns/songs. I do not usually use purchased or commercial materials, preferring to use my own nature photographs or graphics. It is my contribution to the worship experience of the congregation and I work hard to make worship that little bit more meaninful.

      From a congregational perspective, we need to understand that we are to a large extent visual creatures. I do not see visuals replacing sound but rather creating a memorable experience together with sound. I am very careful to ensure that the visuals I choose fit in with the theme of the songs, and church service. I am mindful of the fact that there are many creative ways that we can express our worship. When people are actively involved in creating worship together it builds up our sense of community.

      Producing visuals is hard work and sometimes Sabbath morning is somewhat frenentic as musicians change their minds and the minister arrives with last minute ideas, but the reward is that at the end of a service I feel that I have made a contribution to the worship experience of my community of believers.

      I am a keen photographer and currently have about 10,000 photographs to choose from to using in church services. Typically a church program consists of about 100 slides, and I often make up theme slide programs as fillers before and after church as well. You may like to browse some of the photographs that I use on:

      My current passion is bird photography, but if you look at some of the other sets of photgraphs, you will see some of the range of photographs that I use.

      In other posts I have written about personal worship and community worship. Some of my best personal worship experiences have been when I have been sitting waiting for nature to produce the kind of conditions that make good photographs. Nature is not in a hurry and it is in those times of quiet patience that I have time to think and contemplate. When those thoughts are punctuated with a shaft of light touching a bird on the wing, or a leaf glows in a dark forest I feel spiritual fulfilment. My photography creates the opportunity to connect my personal worship with my community worship and in that I feel especially blessed.

  2. Early church worshipers demonstrated practical religion. The was communal sharing care & nurturing came along even as they shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


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