Friday, October 11, 2013
Are Consumers Able To Worship? Syd Hielema at Calvin Institute of Worship
Consumerism is the societal sense that our conscious desires must be satisfied as quickly as possible. The worshiping community gathers with conflicted desires. The job of a leader is to create a space where all are free to set aside self-centered desires and wake up longings for a deeper way of living. Here are some practical steps to implement this.
Stretch the community's worship imagination. There should be an intentional focus on a 24/7, all-of-life is worship mindset. This includes learning the skill of bring the entirety of life to worship.
Allow many different voices to speak. There needs to be a balance between seeking to be nourished (though valid, self-directed) and being a community that nourishes "the stranger" (other-directed). The church needs to learn to "die to self" by making room for the "non-me" generations that are coming up behind it.
Dig deeper. The church needs to be challenged to discern and address "deep needs" and to engage people in their deepest being. This is prevented when worship is focused on instant gratification that makes people feel good.
Engage tradition in living ways. The consumer-driven Christian entertainment industry likes to market itself as contemporary. But as J Pelikan said, "Tradition (rich though unfamiliar practices) is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism (this is the comfortable way we are familiar with) is the dead faith of the living."
The full article is available here