by Ken Medema
I am pleased to call Ken Medema my friend
and equally pleased he wrote the foreword for Reinventing Sunday.
For many years I’ve admired his extraordinary creativity and have been
moved by his sensitive and profound ability to express the depth of the
human heart through song. For more information about Ken check out his web
FOR TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS, FIFTY SUNDAYS a year, I have found myself worshiping in somebody's church. I am usually asked to sing a considerable part of the service. Often I find myself in a situation where I am bored, the people are bored, the leaders are bored, and as the song from Westside Story suggests, "today the hours go so slowly, the minutes seem like hours."
But, once in a while I arrive in a place where it is quite clear that everyone involved is having an utterly wonderful time. People do not seem to want to leave; excitement is in the air; folks are wrestling with their lives; praise flows freely, and there is everywhere the evidence that these are today people romancing a today God with hearts full of gratitude.
In those places where I have found worship to be alive, whether the worship style is traditional or postmodern, whether the architecture is gothic or garage, whether the preaching comes from professor or plumber, this is the inescapable reality of that cosmic drama wherein we give ourselves away to God's promises: In that drama, by means ordinary and miraculous, predictable and surprising, natural and supernatural, our lives are changed.
If I were going to sum up what I have learned in church about worship through both negative and positive experiences, that summary would bear remarkable resemblance to this amazing book. Brad Berglund has captured what I believe is the rock-bottom essence of worship: namely, that it is offering ourselves to God. Berglund has structured his writing to make sense to a diverse group of worshiping churches, and his creative ideas flow as naturally from his premises as water from an artesian well.
This book will help worship leaders and worshipers in general to develop a theological and philosophical underpinning for their thinking about the crucial activity of worship. For those church communities that are lost in tradition that has become lifeless or that are dashing after the new until it has become tedious, this book bespeaks notions of balance and meaning. Most of all, it encourages those who lead to invite those who worship to do the work of worship.
The author encourages creativity but makes it clear that such creativity grows out of and facilitates congregational life. You will find in this book enough thoughtful reflection, enough creative ideas, and enough passion for God to refresh you along what can sometimes be a desert way.
William Stringfellow writes of his embarrassment when taking a friend to church only to sit through a wretchedly boring service. When church was over, Stringfellow apologized profusely to his friend, who reportedly replied something like, "Don't worry, at least now I know what church is not supposed to be." I suspect that diving into these pages will help us all imagine what church is supposed to be.
Excerpted by permission from Reinventing Sunday: Breakthrough Ideas for Transforming Worship, copyright 2001 by Brad Berglund. Published by Judson Press, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, www.judsonpress.com, 1-800-4-JUDSON.
For More Information Contact Brad Berglund
8273 E. Davies Avenue • Centennial, Colorado 80112
Toll free: 877.489.8500 • Phone: 720.489.8073
and Author Brad Berglund Taizé
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