Rooted & Renegade
rooted, but never rote.
As leaders, we should fight for being rooted in Scripture, in tradition, in history – rooted to something ancient when so much in our culture is constantly changing. In order to be rooted to the saints who’ve gone before us we have to sing some of their songs, pray some of their prayers, and say some of their creeds. We’re not the first generation to want to worship God well. We can learn from the priesthood of believers who have sacrificed so much over the generations before us. This is our spiritual inheritance. But in all of this, we don’t want to simply go through the motions like none of it means anything to us anymore. At that point it becomes nostalgia and sentimentalism. This is what it means to be rooted, but never rote.
charismatic, but never careless.
We also need to be charismatic without being careless. The word “charismatic” may elicit a negative reaction for some of you, but the root of that word is “charis” – the Greek work for grace. It’s the gift to know that while we’re rooted in a beautiful history and a global community, that community is experiencing the grace of God in powerful ways that are fresh and dynamic! As leaders, we need to be sensitive to whether the Spirit of God is doing something in the moment that we should jump into. It could be as simple as following up a prescribed prayer with an extemporaneous prophecy. Or after the Apostles’ Creed to sing something spontaneously in response.
Fight for the ‘and’
Many of today’s churches tend to fall into the extreme categories of being defined as EITHER rooted/traditional OR renegade/charismatic, but how beautiful would it be to have congregations worshiping God across the full spectrum? Who fight to be connected, but still affected. Still other churches hesitate to be categorized at all and instead end up floating somewhere in no-man’s land, not effectively doing either.
People are desperately hungry to be rooted to the transcendent God, with a living expectancy that He’s at work in the world and can meet us in the moment. Similar to worshiping in Spirit AND truth, let’s fight for the AND – not choose one or the other.
Where does your church fall on the spectrum of rooted to charismatic? What are some creative ways you could begin to incorporate whichever is less evidenced in your congregation?
It takes awareness and work for those leading congregations to know where their people tend to lean, and then to encourage and challenge them into a fuller expression of worship. It may take time to get there, and maybe a good deal of patience if your church culture is slow to change, but stick with it.
The resulting expression of worship will be worth it.
* This post is content from one of Mere Worship’s video lectures. For more like this, consider joining our online, private network of worship leaders around the world!