Way Of Love: Spiritual Practices For Disciples
DAY 4 OF 7
In many churches, among people who lead liturgy there’s a lot of shoptalk about doing worship “right”—whether that means rattling off the prayers perfectly, making sure the color of the flowers matches the shade of the chasubles, or teaching acolytes to reverence the altar with the precision of synchronized swimmers. At St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church, where I served for ten years, we talked about the importance of doing worship “well” instead of “right”—singing boldly, speaking clearly, praying aloud honestly.
While it still makes me twitch when I hear a preacher overshare cute stories about his kids, or see a communion server yank the chalice away abruptly from an unsteady person, or endure endless moments of awkward silence while an officiant tries to remember her place in the script, I’ve mostly been freed from the constant drone of liturgical fine-tuning in my head that preoccupied me when I saw myself as a worship leader. I still have plenty of opinions about the amazing array of stylistic choices different churches make, and I still cling to personal preferences—but now, I mostly care less that worship is done right or well and more that it is real.
Real worship doesn’t start with any human rules or words or lip service: It starts with God’s own desire to enter human hearts and change us. Real worship has the power to reveal real relationship with God; it tunes our hearts, sometimes to breaking and always to grace.
- What are the “human rules” you’ve been taught about worship?
- When have you felt that you were honoring God only with your lips? When have you experienced worship that has brought your heart closer to God?
Sara Miles, Author and Social Justice Activist San Francisco, CA
About this Plan
The Way of Love is a set of seven spiritual practices to help guide our path as followers of Jesus Christ. In seven days, explore each of the seven ways of love: turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest. The Way o...
We would like to thank Forward Movement for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://www.forwardmovement.org/