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Hypothetically Speaking

25 September, 2003 10:40 AM

Here is a 'Hypothetical' Question: If you were asked to run a 14 week course on 'Alternative Worship' how would you approach it? What articles and books would you use? What subjects would you cover? Who would you use as a model and what resources would you point your students to? What ideas would you like to see explored? What assessment tasks would you give?

The group that you'd be 'hypothetically' working with would be a mixture of worship leaders and bible college students (mixed ages from young adults though to....older adults).



How would I approach a workshop on "Alternative Worship"?

Why alternatively of course.

err, sorry Darren I couldn't help myself.

chris » 25 September, 2003 4:31 PM

whenever i teach on worship i try and focus on a contextualised approach to worship i.e. the whole point is to do and grow worship out of the culture/community of the people you are working with. so i use quite a few mission texts - e.g. vincent donavon's christianity rediscovered which has a wonderful description of developing the eucharist with the massai, or there was a great issue of evangelical missions quarterly in july 2002 that focused on contextualised worship - i remember a stunning article on worship in africa... it's this basic missional approach that needs to be grasped rather than the stylistic innovations of alternative worship i think. the other area i focus on as background is the area of theology and culture - looking at various christian approaches to culture. in particular i encourage an engagement with popular culture (there's an essay on this on my blog if you want to see how my thoughts develop). it's only hjaving done all that that i will begin to look at music, images, ritual, words, liturgy etc as it is played out in alternatibe worship. in terms of texts - virtual faith by tom beaudoin, alternative worship by yours truly, prodigal project by mike riddel et al, alternative worship and the c of e by paul roberts (grove books), refreshing worship by brian and kevin draper, mass culture edited by pete ward, a book by tex sample whose name i have forgotten.... sounds like a fun course to develop!

jonny baker » 25 September, 2003 6:36 PM

How about a course on how to be the best employee for your boss? How about one on how to look out for everyday examples where you can help or lend someone a hand? That sounds pretty much like alternative worship to me...

Regan » 26 September, 2003 2:49 PM

The tutor v crossing guard approach
The more I do this stuff.. the QnA section gets longer and longer... doing things together - so they taste this raw honest encounter thing... find out what is already happening (around them - already incarnating) you can always find something if you scratch deeper...
they can always read up on background stuff...later on. Earlier this year I was invited to 'speak' on my work - church in local club cultures - round - ministers pre/8 yrs on and institutional (students)ministry training conferences - in a police college... I ignored the ohp and board - rolled ma sleeves up.. showed a v quick vid clip - a medley of people places scenes... 24/7 where I work.. streets estates bizness graf clubs tenements parties meals festivals e-practices (which opened massive questions re border/crossing guard pastoral n ministry stuff ) - once (particularly the older ones)they realised they were allowed to expres their shame, hopelessness, terror etc.. bout all this.. new ways new word stuff...
the questions and personal stories poured out...
(one minister says, : I've buried more kid suicides this year than ever--tell me what to do??) if they can each go away with something - a stepping stone - of some kind... or even the realisation that they are not alone.. its ok to ask for help... I got 10 mins - at the beginning - by the end they were HELPING EACH OTHER - I think, for me - and i've done the whole alt - theology - academia - music n arts cross-c-mission thing for 20 yrs now... thats how I do it now ... simpler - they go away encouraged and helped to cross over... thats my 2p wortyh anyway... love your site by the way...

paul T » 27 September, 2003 3:47 AM

while I love that people are being creative in their worship through the alt-worship movement, I have deep (largely unresolved) questions regarding whether worship should be taught, or led at all, and if worship is ever about 'us' (of course this isn't limited to alt-worship) -- and that people should consider their own giftings and how they can express that total gratitude to who God is and find the best way to show this, whether it be singing, painting, serving, whatever -- does God care what we do if our heart as a worshipper is to give him thanks?

Rachel C » 27 September, 2003 10:02 PM

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