Posted by on Jan 2, 2013 in Featured

Worship has changed dramatically in recent years.  Given the deep changes in worship happening all across the country, what might you expect here at Ada First Presbyterian?  While we haven’t run out the electric guitars and video screens, we aren’t mumbling our way through the hymnbook either.  For us the answer is balance.

On one hand, change for change sake isn’t the answer.  Simply because our culture craves novelty doesn’t mean the church should follow suit.  But at the same time, we recognize that inserting the week’s new hymns and scripture lessons into a standard bulletin that hasn’t changed in over a century isn’t necessarily the best approach either.

The answer for us, lies somewhere in between.  The important truth to recognize is that all churches are “liturgical.”  That is to say, all churches arrange their worship in a certain way, and the arrangement of worship carries a certain meaning.  A church that includes a “confession of sin,” for example, communicates something about our relationship to God–namely that there is a barrier between us and God that needs overcome.  This is the core problem the Christian gospel addresses, yet many churches have removed the confession of sin, deeming it out of fashion.

An illustration of our approach to worship is to keep the confession of sin, but to freshen it up, using what Marva Dawn calls “variety of a right kind.”  We keep the confession, but we might sing it in a praise song rather than read it in unison.  Our “praise team” (piano, acoustic guitar, violin) plays on a regular basis, but the musical selections are usually contemporary hymns in the style of the Gettys.   Our goal is tasteful music and beauty.  The praise team often plays where hymns might fall in a traditional service–as a response to the sermon, or as a sending song.  We prefer this approach to front-loading the service with 30 minutes of singing.

In short, if you worship with us, you’ll find an alternative, but hopefully a pleasing alternative, to the way worship is being pursued in many churches today.