What Is Worship Renewal?

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

What does it mean to renew our worship? These entries explain how we can understand and recognize the renewal of worship. Worship renewal in the contemporary church has focused on two key issues: understanding what worship is and experiencing the power of worship. Both of these aspects of worship are addressed in the entries below.

Defining Worship

Because worship is multifaceted, no single definition completely captures it in full. The following attempts at definition express the richness and diversity of worship and show that a key to renewal is the awareness of worship as both a divine action and a human response.

Signs Of A Worship In Need Of Renewal

The fourteen signs listed below are symptomatic of an apathetic worship and a passive congregation.

Signs Of A Renewing Worship

The objective and subjective characteristics of a renewed worship, as well as the results, are clearly discernible. The following list details these features.

Six Major Emphases Of The Liturgical Movement

The impact of the liturgical movement is felt not only among liturgical churches, but among nonliturgical churches as well. The emphases presented below characterize worship reform not only in Catholic, Episcopal, and Lutheran circles, but also the renewal of worship among Presbyterians, Methodists, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and other denominations of the mainline Protestant churches.

Worship As Celebration Of God’s Saving Deeds

The ultimate aim of worship is not to create a certain mood, nor is it the pragmatic goal of teaching or evangelism. Rather, the aim of worship is to joyfully respond to God's great deeds of salvation in Jesus Christ through praise and thanksgiving.

Worship Open To Change

Worship renewal depends on a congregation open to change. Rather than changing for change's sake, the renewed church draws on biblical and historical worship traditions and is receptive to the leading of the Spirit.