Posts Tagged ‘worship’

What is “Blended Worship”?

Blended worship is essentially a blending of the two major ways of thinking about worship: aesthetic and kinesthetic. Aesthetic worship emphasizes beauty and order, while kinesthetic worship emphasizes the experience and participation of the worshiper. When these are blended, it can take many forms, yet these foundations remain the same. In this presentation, we will examine some of the foundations and motivations of blended worship designs, along with challenges and examples of these designs.

An Overview of Worship Renewals of the 21st Century

Blended worship is linked to the major events of both the liturgical and contemporary worship renewal movements in the 21st century (Exploring the Worship Spectrum, pg. 175).

The Renewal of Liturgical Worship
  • In the 21st century liturgical worship can be characterized as:
    • Tied into a print form of communication
    • Service structure is predictable and executed based on a pattern.
    • Worship is isolationist in nature.
  • These three principles drove the worship structure until the 1960’s during Vatican II and the Roman Catholic reforms. Reforms that came from this include:
    • Worship is put into the language of the people and simplified.
    • Focused on the renewal of theology, architecture, style, and environment.
  • These reforms took root in the Protestant denomination in 6 different ways:
    • There is new concern to restore the theology of worship.
    • There is new attention to the historic pattern of worship.
    • The Lord’s Supper of reexamined.
    • The Christian year is restored.
    • New discussion and questions about the role of music and the arts of worship appear.
    • The desire to include the entirety of the congregation in the worship experience.
The Renewal of Contemporary Worship
  • Three movements lead into the renewal of contemporary worship:
    • Azusa Street and the Pentecostal Movement beginning in 1906.
    • Latter Rain Movement, known of it’s spontaneous worship.
    • The rise of the chorus tradition which lead to the more current rock band style popularized by the Vineyard movement.
The Blending of Worship

“Blended worship brought the content of the liturgical movement and the experience of the contemporary movement together.” (Exploring the Worship Spectrum, pp. 177-178)

This blending began in 1987, where national worship was led by Maranatha! to explore what the blending of these two worship forms could bring.

“Blended worship at its best is substance and relevance, truth and experience, divine and human.” (Exploring the Worship Spectrum, p. 179)

Blended worship is a combination of the strengths of the other forms of worship. (Exploring The Worship Spectrum, p. 176)

• Liturgical tradition—emphasis on beauty
• Reformed tradition—emphasis on the centrality of the Word
• Anabaptist tradition—concern for community and discipleship within worship
• Restorationist tradition—commitment to weekly Communion
• Revivalist tradition (Baptists, Methodists, evangelicals)—concern to move toward the invitation and call sinners to repentance
• Holiness tradition—emphasis on the need to break through and achieve sanctification in worship
• African-American tradition—emphasis on soul worship


Motivations of Blended Worship

Blended worship ultimately comes from a heart to unite the Church, rather than to segment it because of preferences in worship. In joining elements of both the aesthetic and the kinesthetic together into one worship service, generations can be drawn together. Also, the best of each worship tradition can be valued and shared with the other. Those of the traditional or aesthetic tradition have the opportunity to learn from and value the fervency and passion of the kinesthetic tradition. Those of the contemporary or kinesthetic tradition have the opportunity to learn from and value the love of truth and beauty of the aesthetic tradition. Multiple generations can learn from one another, and legacy can be shared in this context, which would not be possible if the different generations and traditions were segregated from one another based on their respective preferences.


Difficulties of Blended Worship

Blended worship can easily fall into the trap of seeking to please everyone, rather than leading a congregation toward a God-given vision for the church. A worship leader considering blended worship must be careful to not simply use it because it is the best “compromise,” but rather because it follows the leading it makes the most sense in the current worship environment for their particular congregation.

Blended worship is not meant to be a “catering” to needs or wants, but rather a leading the church into unity and leading one generation toward the other. The target is not the pleasure of the congregation (making everyone happy) but on unity. If blended worship devolves into a means to please people, then it misses the mark, and settles for far less than it can be. This is a common issue in blended worship environments. In order for blended worship to work, everyone in the congregation will have to make some sort of sacrifice and give something up, in order to serve one another.

Another difficulty of blended worship is in forming a team that can confidently and skillfully lead a congregation in multiple styles of music from multiple generations. The music of one generation or another can easily be done poorly, and the people can smell a fake. It then seems disengenuous, and it disengages the congregation, rather than engaging them together. Care must be given to the presentation of the various styles within a service, to ensure that each is an authentic and skillful representation of the media.

  • Achieving cohesiveness with varying styles
  • Many congregants remain unsatisfied with the mixed style offering
  • Invites criticism of the unpreferred style
  • Presenting multiple styles with one, unified team
  • Team talent limitations
  • Sacrifice of team members to play other styles which are less desirable to them
  • Some songs/styles are more difficult to lead than others
  • Requires adaptability and flexibility on team


Examples of Blended Worship

The description “blended worship” covers a broad sweep of churches and worship services, which can range from mostly traditional to mostly contemporary, while including aspects of both. The flow of blended worship environments also depends on the tradition from which they are born. Some spring out of very liturgical, aesthetic tradition, while others spring from more of a revivalist tradition, all of which influences the look and feel of how they design and lead a blended worship offering. Below are some examples of blended worship.

General Blended Worship Outline from Exploring The Worship Spectrum

– Preservice music
– First set of music
– Prayer/Welcome
– Second set of music
– Sermon
– Invitation
– Offering
– Decisions affirmed by church
– Benediction

Another example from the text

– Gathering Songs
– Entrance Hymn with Procession (The experience of coming before God)
– Greeting, Call to Worship, and Invocation
– Songs of Praise and Worship (The experience of God’s transcendence)
– Confession and Forgiveness (The experience of God’s forgiveness and relationship)
– Opening Prayer (Transition to the Word)

Other Examples of Blended Worship Service Designs
Design by Brandon Cullum

Prelude – Great is Thy Faithfulness
Special Music – The Heart of Worship
Welcome and Greeting – led by Pastor
Worship through Music
– From the Inside Out
– How Great is our God
– Great is Thy Faithfulness
Scripture Reading  – Psalms 48:10 – led by Elder
Offertory – instrumental
Worship through Music –  Awesome is the Lord Most High
Sermon – Pastor
Invitation – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Benediction – led by Pastor

Design by Bill Horn 

Pre-service – Video Countdown
Call to Worship – Ps. 96:1-4
Worship Through Singing
– Sing to the King
– On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand
Prayer/Welcome/ Time of Greeting – Lead Pastor
Worship Through Singing
– You Never Let Go
– It Is Well
Worship Through the Word – James 1 – “Faithful” – Lead Pastor
Response – ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
Worship Through Giving – In Christ Alone
Benediction – Lead Pastor

Design by Adam Gillespie

Pre-Service Music – The Family of God (Instrumental)
Welcome / Prayer – Deacon of the Week
Expressions of Praise – Music Minister
– We are God’s People (Hymn 383)
– Oh, How I Love Jesus
– Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine (Hymn 334)
Special Music / Testimony – Praise Band
– Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
Proclamation of God’s Word – Eph. 1:7-10 – “How Great Is Our God!” – Lead Pastor
Invitation to Respond – Just a Closer Walk With Thee
Worship Through Giving – Take My Life
Presentation of Decisions and Closing Prayer
Closing Song – The Family of God (instrumental)

Resources and References for learning more about Blended Worship

Referenced in this presentation:

Exploring the Worship Spectrum. Paul A. Basden, ed.  Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2004.

Other Resources:

Books

Holy Gatherings by Michael Sharp and Argile Smith

Unceasing Worship, by Harold M. Best

Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell

Engaging With God by David Peterson

Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin

Worship By The Book, edited by D.A. Carson

Planning Blended Worship: The Creative Mixture of Old and New by Robert Webber

Articles

Gary Hollingsworth – Moving from traditional to blended worship
In this article Gary outlines 10 steps when making the transition from traditional to blended:

  1. Take Your Time
  2. Do Your Homework
  3. Know Where You are Headed
  4. Work to Earn Trust
  5. Expect Challenge
  6. Transition Is a Prcoess, Not an Event
  7. Call the Right Personnel
  8. Don’t Compromise Quality
  9. Understand Techincal issues
  10. Be Prayerful and Careful

David Burroughs – The Brouhaha About Blended Worship
In this article from beliefnet.com gives a great overview of the current trends, benefits and concerns over blended worship.  There is a great emphasis on unity between the older and younger generation and how Blended worship seek to bridge the gap that exists between generations as well as between typical service times.

Presentation created by Bill Horn, Brandon Cullum, and Adam Gillespie for Dr. Gregory Woodward and Dr. Gary Dennis, for the course Worship Leadership of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary 

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As followers of Jesus, we are to remember and pass on the Word of God to the people in our lives. This was what our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, shared as we concluded our series titled “Faith.” You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here’s our service plan:

Welcome
“Happy Day” (B) [Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon]
Greeting Time
Child Dedications
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Instructed” [Joe Hishmeh]
“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
“Son of God” (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]
“In Tenderness” (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram Judson Gordon, W. Spencer Walton]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was fun. Our team led well, and all the pieces connected well. Trent Raines did a great job co-leading. The weekend before Thanksgiving always seems to be a special one, as people are more mindful of their many blessings and reasons to worship the Lord.

The highlights for me were “In Tenderness” and “Son of God.” The church sang well throughout the weekend, but it reached its peak when we sang those two songs. I absolutely love the declarations of those songs, and it’s moving for me when I hear the congregation singing it out together. It was a great weekend.

One of the things I am most thankful for in my life is the congregation I get to serve each week. They are amazing people!

So, I leave you with this: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

As followers of Jesus, we are guided by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. This was the message from our Family Pastor, Brian Tryhus, as we continued our series titled “Faith.” It was a great reminder for us to look for guidance in the right places. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here’s our service plan:

Pre-Service – “Lead of Love” (G) [Aaron Tate of Caedmon’s Call]
Welcome
“I’ll Fly Away” (G) [Albert E. Brumley]
“Your Grace Is Enough” (G) [Matt Maher]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Guided” [Brian Tryhus]
“It Is Well” (Bb) [Philip Paul Bliss, Todd Fields, Horatio G. Spafford]
“One Thing Remains” (Bb) [Christa Black, Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle]
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Dismissal
Post-Service – “”Lead of Love” (G) [Aaron Tate]

Thoughts: This was a solid weekend of worship with our church. It was one of those weekends where I felt the Lord was strong in my weakness. The lyric that stuck with me throughout the weekend was from “Lead of Love”: “Looking back I can finally see/ How failures bring humility/ Brings me to my knees/ Helps me see my need for Thee.” That resonated with me this weekend. During the message in the first service on Saturday night, I was having a conversation with my wife and keeping my eye on the timer for the message. When it said four minutes left, I quickly headed upstairs, only to hear music playing and to find the speaking pastor, Brian, in the stairwell. Needless to say, I panicked. Kip did a good job covering and getting the band started without me, and I tried my best to quietly head out to my position on the platform and join in. Talk about embarrassing! Anyway, that only contributed to how “off” I felt through the weekend. I’m not sure if it was allergies or a slight cold, but I just didn’t feel like I had any energy or focus.

Despite all of that, the team did a great job, and our congregation was really engaged throughout the weekend. I felt the Lord was glorified, and that people responded to the Word of God through the message. Ultimately, the Lord was strong in my weakness. It seems that some of the greatest weekends of worship I experience or witness in our church are those where I feel weakest. I don’t believe that’s a coincidence, either. 🙂

The highlights for me were having my friend Ronnie Murphy on mandolin, singing an older favorite of mine in Caedmon’s Call’s “Lead of Love,” “It Is Well,” and one of our congregation’s new favorites in “Rejoice.” The church has really seemed to latch onto that song. I love the declaration and the energy in that song, and I’m thankful we can sing it together.

So, I leave you with this: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

Well, life has been happening and I have fallen behind on my posts, so a little catch-up is in order. The past two weekends have been some of my favorites here at Fellowship. We have been in the midst of a series titled “Faith” and it has been both encouraging and challenging for our church. On 11/02 -11/03, our lead pastor, Joe, shared how we have been redeemed by the finished work of Christ. This past weekend, 11/09 – 11/10, our Adult Discipleship Pastor, David Hinkle, shared about how God has set us apart for His glory and His working here on the earth. Both of these messages were powerful declarations of the gospel, and it really showed as the church sang in response. You can listen to or watch the entire messages and services here.

Here’s our service plan from 11/02 – 11/03:

Pre-Service – “Song of the Redeemed” (Em) [Charlie Hall, Kendall Combes, Quint Anderson, Brian Bergman, Dustin Ragland] 
Welcome
“Sing to the King” (E) [Billy Foote, Charles Silvester Horne]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Redeemed” [Joe Hishmeh]
Communion Intro
“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (D) [John Newton, Edwin O. Excell, John P. Rees, Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio]
Taking of the Elements
“You Have Overcome” (A) [Bill Horn, Erik Oldberg]
“This Is Amazing Grace” (A) [Phil Wickham, Jeremy Riddle, Josh Farro]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was one of my favorite services of which I have ever been a part. Our team did a fantastic job leading across the board. Kelsey Thomsen rejoined the team to co-lead this weekend after a long break for school in Wichita, and she did a great job in her return. I am so excited to see how everyone stepped up and called our congregation to worship Jesus. The highlights for me were “Song of the Redeemed,” “Sing to the King,” and “You Have Overcome.” It was an amazing weekend!


Here’s our service plan from this past weekend, 11/09 – 11/10:

Welcome
“Holy Is The Lord” (E) [Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio] 
“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Faith: Set Apart” [David Hinkle]
“A Mighty Fortress” (Bb) [Christy Nockels, Nathan Nockels]
“Jesus Paid It All” (Bb) [John T. Grape, Elvina M. Hall, w/ additional chorus by Alex Nifong]
“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was another great weekend of worship. Again, our team did a great job leading us in worship. Becky Tindell did a great job co-leading, especially in leading us on “A Mighty Fortress,” which is an awesome song coming largely from the book of Hebrews. It was a great fit with the message this weekend, along with “Jesus Paid It All.” Together, these two songs encapsulated the emphasis of David’s powerful message: we are set apart to holiness for God’s glory, yet our righteousness before God is only in the finished work of Jesus on our behalf. The highlights for me were “Before the Throne,” “Jesus Paid It All,” and “Rejoice,” which is one of my favorite new songs. If you haven’t heard it yet, give it a listen. The lyric is powerful and moving. In all, it was a beautiful weekend.

So, I leave you with this: what were your experiences, observations, or take-aways from these past two weekends?

– Bill

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, concluded our “Deep and Wide” series, and shared the results of how we came together as a church to advance the gospel in our lives. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Welcome
“In Tenderness” (G) [Nate Garvey, Adoniram J. Gordon, W. Spencer Walton, played by Citizens]
“Let Me Sing” (Bb) [Todd Fields]
Greeting Time
Announcements
Message – “Deep & Wide Recap” [Joe Hishmeh]
“All Creatures of Our God and King” (D) [St. Francis of Assisi, David Crowder, William Henry Draper, Brent Milligan]
“Wonderful Maker” (G) [Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman]
“Son of God” (G) [Tim Neufeld, Jon Neufeld, Ed Cash, Gordon Cochran]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was a solid weekend with our congregation. Kip Kraisinger co-led, and he and our team all did a great job. We also introduced the glockenspiel to our services for the first time, and Stacy Krueger did a great job with it on “All Creatures of Our God and King,” especially for her first time ever playing the instrument. It was a nice textural addition to our instrumentation, and I look forward to being able to utilize it more in the future. The back half of the service was a nice reflective time where we focused our worship toward God primarily as our Maker. “Wonderful Maker” holds a special place in my life as a worshiper, because it was the first song that had the obvious absence of self in the lyric–it was all about who God is and what He has done. It served as a turning point in my leading, where the emphasis shifted from songs about me and what I was going to do for God to who He is and what He has already done for us. There is a place in worship for offering our lives and essentially making vows to the Lord, but the emphasis must be on Him first. “Wonderful Maker” helped turn my focus in that direction, and I am very grateful for how the Lord used it in my life as a young worship leader. “Son of God” was a great way to close our services, because, in a way, it encapsulates the work of Christ for us from beginning to end, and in doing so it gives us words to worship Him and to magnify His surpassing worth. It always resonates with our congregation, and is a powerful moment of worship together.

Throughout the weekend, I felt a little “off.” No matter how much sleep I had over the past week, I continued to feel very tired. It could possibly be due to a cold or allergies, but I’m not sure. Whatever the cause, I felt a little “foggy” as a result. It can be challenging to lead well when feeling like that, but those are also some of the most beautiful and powerful moments in leading, because we have the opportunity to see God’s power made perfect in our weakness in a very tangible way. It is in those moments that we find ourselves even more dependent on the Spirit of God to work in our lives and in the lives of those we lead, and that is not a bad place to be. I’m thankful for how He continues to move and grow us as a congregation, and that He allows me to be a part of what He is doing here in Fellowship.

Next weekend, our NextGen worship director, Erik Oldberg, will be leading our weekend services with a team of students, and it’s going to be a great weekend! Don’t miss it.

– Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our seventh week of our series, “Deep and Wide,” and shared how the followers of Jesus celebrate the goodness of God, the grace of God, and the gospel of God in their lives. It was a joyful weekend together, and a great reminder to celebrate often what God has done for us. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Countdown Song – “Follow You” (G) [Ben Rector]
Video – Ethiopian Church – Ernie Frey

“Rejoice” (Bb) [Dustin Kensrue, Stuart Townend]
“Made Alive” (C) [Zach Bolen, Brian Eichelberger]
Greeting Time
Video – Student Ministry – Nick Strobel
Sharefest Video
Announcements
Message – “Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus… Celebrates” [Joe Hishmeh]
Elder-led Prayer – Alan Wynne

Offertory song – “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” (G) [Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin]
Dedicatory Prayer
“Follow You” (G) [Ben Rector]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This past weekend was a great celebratory weekend together. Our team did a fantastic job, and the church was very engaged in every part of the service. It was powerful and beautiful. I love my church, and I love celebrating together what Jesus has done!

– Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?

This weekend, our lead pastor, Joe Hishmeh, continued in our sixth week of our series, “Deep and Wide,” and shared how the Jesus multiplies whatever we bring to Him. If we offer Him nothing, zero multiplied by anything is still zero. When we offer even what we think is the smallest thing to Him, it becomes great than we could ever have imagined. You can listen to or watch the entire message and service here.

Here’s our service plan from this weekend:

Countdown Song – “Follow You” (G) [Ben Rector]
Video – T.E.A.M. – Brent Preston

“Before The Throne” (A) [Charitie Lees Bancroft, The Modern Post]
“Hosanna” (E) [Brooke Ligertwood]
Greeting Time
Video – Administrative and Support Ministries – J.D. Holt

Announcements/Offering
Communion
Communion Song – “In My Place” (A) [Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell] / “Nothing But The Blood” (A) [Robert Lowry]
Message – “Deep & Wide: A Follower of Jesus… Multiplies” [Joe Hishmeh]
Elder-led Prayer – Jeff Vogel

“Your Great Name” (Bb) [Michael Neale, Krissy Nordhoff]
Dismissal

Thoughts: This weekend was 

For our singing this weekend, we sang songs that celebrated how our life and salvation are completely dependent on the redeeming power of Jesus for us [“Before The Throne,” “In My Place,” “Nothing But The Blood,” “Your Great Name”]. We also sang “Hosanna,” which calls us to laying our lives down for the kingdom of God as we look toward His return. We opened our services this week with Ben Rector’s “Follow You” in the countdown, and it is a fun and hopeful song that calls us into the joy of laying down our burdens and following Christ.

– Bill

What were your thoughts or experiences from your worship gathering this weekend?