Planning Theologically-Themed Worship Services

"One of the ways in which we did that was to develop worship services around a theological theme—theology proper that is—some aspect, attribute, activity or characteristic of God. We have developed a list of over 150 themes that we work through every three years or so." - Proclaim & Defend

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T Howard's picture

If you follow the liturgical calendar, you also plan theologically-themed worship services. Following the liturgical calender means you celebrate more than just Easter and Christmas, and you learn a lot of theology along the way.

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that what Kevin Schaal/P&D are doing is very similar to the liturgical calendars that I grew up with as a United Methodist.  The big difference that may exist would be the question of how well Kevin's liturgical calendar matches with approximate times and dates of things as they are described in Scripture--if you're going to have the mnemonic (memory) aid of history, you've got to build with history.  

The big disadvantage of a liturgy, as I remember, is the same thing that you see with cultures in "low church" contexts--that people will simply accept that over Scripture.  At other times, I remember pastors basically "mailing it in" and still teaching what they wanted to, often current events, instead of going with the OT/NT/Gospel readings and building from that.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

M. Osborne's picture

I set out trying to sing through theological themes over time at a church. Grudem's systematic theology ends each chapter with a hymn or song of some kind, which is a helpful place to start. Perhaps our doctrinal headings were broader than Kevin's, which sounds more limited to theology proper. We did things like Salvation (and subheadings under that), Holy Spirit, the church...

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

TylerR's picture

Editor

I'll be taking a look at this over the next year. The other pastor and I have begun incorporating some "bigger" liturgical observances in the annual preaching schedule (e.g. Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday's, etc.). Baptists are not often "catholic" in this sense, and it's too bad. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?