Convergence Worship

Many people (if not most) have never even heard the word "convergence" used in relation to worship before, and yet convergence worship continues to be one of the most fascinating phenomenons within the realm of worship renewal.

A starting point might be to understand convergence worship as part of the Convergence Movement:

The Convergence Movement refers to a move among evangelical and charismatic churches in the United States to blend charismatic worship with liturgies from the Book of Common Prayer and other liturgical sources. The Movement was inspired by the spiritual pilgrimages of modern Evangelical writers like Thomas Howard, Robert E. Webber, Peter E. Gillquist and the ancient Christian writers and their communities. These men, along with theologians, scripture scholars, and pastors in a number of traditions, were calling Christians back to their roots in the primitive church (cited from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convergence_Movement).

In Appendix 1 of his Signs of Wonder, Robert E. Webber posits the following principles as "The Be-Attitudes of Convergence" (restated):

  1. Be exposed to traditions of worship other than your own.
  2. Be open to the active presence of the supernatural.
  3. Be focused upon the celebration of an event.
  4. Be sure to set aside time exclusively for worship.
  5. Be participatory in order to experience worship.
  6. Be aware that the rule of prayer is the rule of faith (faith comes by doing worship).
  7. Be careful to include the opportunity to experience divine action and human response within the four-fold order (gathering, ministry of the word, Eucharist, sending).
  8. Be aware of the role your style plays in relation to the contribution of other sytles.
  9. Be insistent to use the arts as a vehicle for worship.
  10. Be aware that space communicates.
  11. Be inclusive of many musical styles.
  12. Be aware of the power of drama.
  13. Be free enough to use the body in worship.
  14. Be committed to the evangelical possibilities that lie within the Christian Year.
  15. Be convinced of the power of sign and symbol.
  16. Be attentive to the symbolism of baptism.
  17. Be hungry to recover the presence and power of Christ through the symbols of bread and wine at the table.
  18. Be in a spirit of celebration and thanksgiving when participating in the Eucharist.
  19. Be open to the recovery of the practice of laying on of hands for healing.
  20. Be sensitive to the way in which authentic worship relates to all areas of the church's ministry.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts regarding any of the above-stated principles and whether or not your faith and practice has been influenced by modern charismatic or traditional liturgical experiences.

No comments:

Post a Comment