From the Music Ministry….

Hospitality In Worship

How can we express hospitality in our worship services? First, we need to acknowledge that a Christian worship service is a unique event; it is not a concert, it is not a lecture, it is not a pep rally, although it has some elements of all those events. Christian worship is a time for believers to hear and remember God’s good Word and to respond to that Word. Throw in our local customs and worship practices and we should expect guests, even those with a church background, not to fully understand all that happens in our worship services.

That being said, if we want to be hospitable, we can consider some simple aids to help guests in worship. One worship aid I have seen used is a Worship Guide. A Worship Guide gives an overview of local worship practices and briefly explains what to expect in the service. A Worship Guide could also include how to use common worship material (e.g., a hymnal), and usual worship elements (e.g., after the reading scripture, the worship leader often says, “The Word of the Lord,” to which everyone responds, “Thanks be to God”).

Worship Guides can take the form of a large, laminated, bookmark-type piece that is placed in the hymnals and pew Bibles. It can take the form of a single, letter-sized piece placed in pew racks (chairs in our case) around the Sanctuary. They could be handed out with the Order of Worship. In fact, the Order of Worship itself could serve as a Worship Guide for guests. For example, if the service includes the Lord’s Prayer or the recitation of Psalm 23, those could be printed in the Order of Worship. The Scripture response could be printed in the Order of Worship as well.

While it is to be expected guests will not understand all that goes on in our worship services, we can provide simple, easy-to-implement worship aids to let guests know they are welcome.