The Pastor and Worship (5)

As the church goes about the business of worship, resistance is sure to crop up.… If worship is looked upon as a problem by the pastor, Dittes says it is usually analyzed by the minister in one of two ways:

  1. The form of worship must be changed in order to make it more suitably matched to the needs of the people.
  2. The people must be changed and educated in the correct purpose, traditions, and meanings of worship.

Most liturgical reform and liturgical education begin from one of these two assumptions.  To work from the first assumption often means that the pastor stoops to the level of the resistance, stops leading worship, and starts planning worship, becoming a rearranger of worship, tinkering with the liturgy, experimenting with something new, anxiously checking out the people to see if they like this or that worship style better than the ones before. If the second assumption is followed, the pastor moves from worship leader to worship educator. He or she constantly coaxes, invites, teaches, and tells about worship, assuming that if he or she can just get the people prepared, then they will at last be ready to worship.

—William Willimon, Worship as Pastoral Care, 84

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