Ancient forms of liturgy and worship are taking on new meaning as they are placed within the context of new creative forms of worship. A renewed reverence for the holy, a journey of faith and mystery, create an expectation and desire to experience the power and presence of God.

Among emerging generations, there is a desire to seek the ancient. There is even a backlash against the church feeling like a modern business. So a revival of liturgy and other ancient disciplines, when brought back with life and meaning, are a desired approach to worship in the emerging church. There are beautiful expressions of worship from various times periods we can integrate into how we worship today.

Among future oriented churches there is a growing interest in the Christian calendar and in Jewish religious rites and roots of the faith. Among emerging generations there is a fascinating revival of interest in singing hymns as part of worship. The lyrical content of many hymns is rich and deep, something emerging generations desire.

Music continues to be one of the primary ways to involve all worshipers in a bi-directional relationship with God in worship gatherings. Music also affirms the corporate unity of the body of Christ because it is something that the entire congregation does together.

Recently contemporary music artists and song-writers have begun to write music with more depth, theology and mystery. This music is filtering into the traditional and contemporary churches. But as a congregation begins to develop new patterns, it should keep in mind that the essential nature of the assembling of the people is a divine call and a human response. No matter the forms of worship, God continues to call to his people and desires a response to his love.

The challenge of future worship is to identify those choruses and spiritual songs that have lasting value, to retain the music from the past that is characterized by depth and a power, and to combine these many forms of music into an order of worship that remembers, proclaims, enacts, and celebrates the story of salvation.

(continues in installment 5)