Monday, July 26, 2010

Discerning The Difference Between Containers and Content

He sums it up all so well.  Please read this blog by Bob Kauflin ... a worship leader who is on the same brainwave as me.

Although there are probably a number of ways to answer that question, what came to my mind was the difference between containers and content in our meetings. “Container” describes what’s going on during a particular portion of the meeting. In a more formal church the containers might be listed out in a bulletin and include things like Call to Worship, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Worship in Song, Pastoral Prayer, Giving of Tithes and Offerings, Lord’s Prayer, Sermon, the Lord’s Supper, and Benediction. In a less formal church containers still exist, but are generally assumed. They could include the “worship time,” “ministry time,” announcements, sermon, testimony time, special song, prayer for the sick, welcoming of guests, communion, and the closing song.
In either case, we can get caught up in focusing on the “containers.” How they fit together, how much time each one requires, whether or not we’re approaching them with creativity, and other administrative and aesthetic questions. We think the meeting has gone well when we fit all the “containers” in to the allotted box of time, or when things flow smoothly. “Worship didn’t take too long.” “Smooth transition from announcements to the special song.” If we’re really on top of things, we assign a theme to the containers so that they all relate to the same topic or have a similar focus.

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