“What should be the core leadership values for developing a healthy, wholehearted worshiping community?”

That’s the question I submitted to  The Worship Community website for Glen Packiam, Executive Pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he oversees Spiritual Formation and serves as the Teaching Pastor for NewLifeSundayNight.

He’s a respected author , has songs in the CCLI Top 100, and is pretty much the bomb when it comes to the pastor-thinker-musician-songwriter package.

What question would you ask? (Link to original blog post)

His answers blew me away.

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It’s a really interesting video. There’s 10 questions and he covers mine at about 13:20 minutes. There’s a great riff about being culturally relevant before that.

Some of his key ideas for developing a wholehearted worshiping community:

  1. Include Liturgical practices, such as prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, The Nicene Creed, and The Lords Prayer. [My note: They help form a more scriptural understanding of God.]
  2. These practices shape the expression of worship to be more Trinitarian because it gives people language that is “very clear about the different roles of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
  3. Glen says a problem with modern worship songs and prayers is the tendency to be “flippant” – mixing frequently vague references to “You”, “Lord”, “God” ,“Father”, etc.
  4. The concern is that our understanding of God can become distorted. 
    • “The real losers in this is –“us”, the church.
    • There is an old Latin saying ‘Lex orandi, lex crendi, lex vivendi” , which means, ‘The way you pray, is the way you believe, is the way you live”
  5. So the way we worship can lead to “real shortcomings in the way the church lives, because what we believe about God is pretty skewed”.
    • For example, he mentions belief that is  “moralistic, therapeutic, deism”
    • Glen’s analysis is that “Maybe part of why we believe these funny things about God is because of the sloppiness with which we pray and worship.”
  6. Therefore he says “I care very much  about the words we’re singing and praying.”
    • Are they Trinitarian? Are they Christ-centered? Do they really shape our image of God?
  7. Later he says we can’t sing “to God” if our information about Him, or view of Him,  is skewed.If my view of Him is skewed,  then I’m not really singing to Him, but I’m singing to a god that  I’ve created, a god that I’ve sort of fashioned in my own image, in my own imagination.”
  8. So he challenges worship planners
    • “Is everything you’re singing on a Sunday, on a weekend service – is it just stuff telling you how you feel about God ? How God feels about you? There’s a place for that…. but ..
    • How do we make sure that people really are seeing and praying to the God of the scriptures – Father, Son And Holy Spirit?”
  9. “What kind of God would be described by the lyrics of your set list this weekend? Think about those things.” 

    • That’s why we’ve inserted these things like the Nicene Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and some of these prayers and other elements. So that the worship service as a whole communicates this vast beautiful Trinity, Christ, His sacrifice, our participation in the life of the Trinity … all of that.”

I really resonated with Glen’s philosophy of ministry and approach to spiritual formation.  How about you?

There’s great music, articles and teaching videos on the Glen Packiam website and blog. Also, here’s a link to his latest book, Lucky: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People" And here's a link to his new EP "The Kingdom Comes"

The purpose of this blog is to encourage wholehearted worship worldwide.

Comments? What values do you think are important for developing a wholehearted worshiping  community? We love Comments!