Discover and define the characteristics of worship to lead more meaningful services.
“Good worship” means different things to different churches. Many Protestant churches go with an overall authority for the structure of worship, such as the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. For those that don’t, L. Edward Phillips suggests that leadership should take time to thoughtfully define the best expression of worship for their communities. In The Purpose, Pattern, and Character of Worship, Phillips looks at six distinct characteristics of worship patterns and links them to patterns found in contemporary expression. By discovering and defining these characteristics of worship, pastors and worship directors can lead more coherent and meaningful services.
Within the broad range of Christianity we find diverse understandings of what makes for “good worship.” This book develops a typology of Christian worship to provide a method of assessing the decisions of congregations and leaders in forming and changing the orders of their worship.
Among contemporary western Protestants, we find at least six discrete characteristics of worship:
-the Sunday School,
-the Aesthetic Revival,
-the Pentecostal/holiness movement,
-the Prayer Meeting,
-and the twentieth-century Catholic Liturgical Renewal.
These patterns find contemporary expression as:
-House Church Worship,
-and Word and Table Worship.
Absent an overall authority for the structure of worship (such as the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer), many Protestant congregations have developed a “conflation of patterns,” which often creates incoherent worship. This book helps leaders define the purpose, character, and pattern of their community’s worship.