worship theme

Worship Planning Theme: Spirit

Worship Planning Theme: Spirit

Hooray! You made it through Easter!

Pull out those leftover chocolate eggs and a pad of paper, because there's not much rest for the weary, as they say.

It's time to plan for Pentecost!

Each year, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday (June 4, 2017). 

On Pentecost Sunday, we remember the story from the book of Acts about how the apostles gathered, were filled with the Spirit, and with tongues of fire resting above their heads, began spontaneously speaking in different languages. 

This was the beginning of the church, in a way - a group of people that gathers together and goes forth to share the Gospel throughout the world.

Today’s post is all about planning a worship service centered on the Holy Spirit. From hymns, spirituals, and contemporary worship songs to choir anthems, liturgy, and visual aids, everything in this post would work well for a Pentecost service, but may also work throughout the season of Ordinary Time in a service focused on the Spirit.

Enjoy!

Worship Planning Theme: Music

Worship Planning Theme: Music

"I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music." - J. S. Bach

What a beautiful sentiment about what we do as church musicians.

There’s something different about sharing music in a worship context - it becomes something greater than ourselves, more than we could make it on our own. In a way, we become the instruments, ready to be used by God, for His glory: “Take my voice and let me sing - always, only for my King."

I’ve written a few posts like this one, with music and worship-planning resources on a specific theme or topic. Here are the links, in case you missed them:

Water
The Good Shepherd

Today’s theme is Music. I’m writing this post for myself, really, because we’re in the midst of planning a Music Sunday at our church for later this Spring - a day to celebrate God’s gift of music and bring together as many of the church’s musicians as we can to offer our praise and thanksgiving.

Worship Planning Theme: The Good Shepherd

Worship Planning Theme: The Good Shepherd

Throughout the Bible, there are many analogies of sheep and their shepherds:

Moses was a shepherd for the Israelites, leading them through the wilderness for 40 years.
David was a shepherd before he became King of Israel.
Jesus described himself as "the Good Shepherd” in John 10, one who “lays down his life for his sheep."

We hear about sheep and shepherds in the Parable of the Lost Sheep, where the shepherd went after the one sheep who had strayed from the fold and did not stop looking until he found it. We read about God as our shepherd in Psalm 23 and throughout the book of Psalms:

"But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the wilderness." (Psalm 78:52)

"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care." (Psalm 95:6-7)

"Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture." (Psalm 100:3)

Worship Planning Theme: Water

Worship Planning Theme: Water

There are some themes and symbols that appear over and over again in scripture: creation, light, bread, water. And every few weeks, I seem to find myself planning around a certain theme and searching for worship planning inspiration:

“hymns about light”
“songs about water”
“ribbon banner for worship”

You, too? Okay, good. Based on my own planning for a service later this spring, I’m sharing my favorite stories, music, and worship planning ideas for services about water.

Water symbolizes baptism and rebirth, healing and renewal, creation and order from chaos. It ebbs and flows, waves and ripples: a living, moving thing. It sustains us and life on earth. It cleanses us and makes us new.