Friday, 13 February 2015

Old ways of worship in new ways too

There are some things I never thought I would do. I would have regarded them as too 'new age' or 'arty' or 'vague'. Now, I am trying them out, especially as I've learnt 2 important things about where 'my'ministry.

Firstly, and this is really obvious, but sometimes has to be restated. It's not about me. Ever. Yes, I do firmly believe God works through us, through our life experiences, through our personalities, through our knowledge and understanding of the world. At the end of the day, it should still be God working through me.

Secondly, just because its something I may not 'get' anything from, it doesn't mean others won't find something in the space which has been created. I suppose that refers back 'firstly'.

A recent example was me leading an evening service through Lectino Divina, following a pattern from Church in a circle. Had I been one of the participants, I would have probably wondered off with my own thoughts (maybe, at one time even wondering if the person leading had actually done any prep), perhaps even feeling a little empty because I hadn't got what I either (a) expected or (b) needed. As the person leading the service, actually more facilitating it, I was more focusing n what was coming next, watching body language to see who people were reacting etc.

Afterwards, a couple of people thanked me of the service and how much they got from it. Another commented how it gave them space to 'be' and permission to think. Someone even liked it so much they posted something on facebook (so I'm told, still avoiding that one!).

So, just because that may not have been my cup of tea doesn't mean I can't/shouldn't offer it as part of the diet of worship. I don't, generally, drink coffee, but once I am in a manse, it will be available for others. Maybe worship is a bit like that. There are elements which I wouldn't necessarily seek, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be made available for others who may want them. Some can be included in the 'normal' (whatever normal is) Sunday service. Others, such as Lectino Divina would sit better as a stand alone service, which, over time, might be lead by those other than the minister (oh, heaven forbid!).

Exactly how I would try to launch these different ways of worship is grey - because it would depend a lot on the situation, people involved and, from my point of view, the guts to see if there's a will. In some ways it's been easier trying new things - which are new to the congregation at Airside, not just me - because I am in a position where I am expected to try new stuff. But, maybe part of working out where I am called to minister sits with working out whether the congregation, at the right time and pace, are willing to at least dip their toes and see how the water is.

Much to ponder, on so many levels. Glad I've tried this sort of worship; glad it went well; and surprise in myself that this is something I can see myself offering, in one way or another, in the future.

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