In a review of Bryan Chapell’s new book, Christ-Centered Worship, Michael Duduit, executive editor at Preaching Magazine, draws out some key elements of historic religious worship that can guide your church’s exploration of its worship practice. The manner in which we worship God, according to Chapell, is a reflection of our theology. It follows that theology – and not any other consideration – must be the primary criteria by which devotional practices are organized and filled out.
I think that a church’s worship form and content more accurately reflect the actual theology of a church than does its official statement of beliefs, or the various unofficial statements made during board meetings and social hour conversations. Too often, in my experience, worship in plateaued and declining churches looks like it is the end result of a long history of accretions and remnants, rather than an intentional portrayal of the church’s current theological convictions.
When a church has a disjointed – or unexamined – theology, it is difficult to have a coherent worship service. And disjointed, incoherent worship services grate on visitors (nearly as much as a badly conceived or badly delivered sermons). However, reflecting on what worship can be, and how worship can better reflect a church’s theological commitments, can produce a worship service that serves as a powerful attraction for visitors hungry for the Word of God.
You can begin your consideration of Christ as the necessary center of worship by reading this review:
“In Christ-Centered Worship, Chapell has pressed the church to re-think its approach to worship and reminded us that worship is not about us and our preferences—it is about Christ and His glory. …”
To go further, consider using Chapell’s two books, Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice and Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, as study material for your leadership team’s and congregation’s reflections on the theology, purpose and focus of your Sunday services.