Matt Boswell and Matt Papa answer questions from worship leaders about how to think about and implement—or not implement—liturgical elements in their services.
"I want our gatherings to be marked by great, gospel-filled joy.”
"How do we make sure our gatherings are trinitarian? How do we walk in the balance between God’s transcendence and his immanence? How do we live in the reality of God’s revelation and our response? We're ensuring these various nuances and ideas are resonant within the meeting of God’s people."
“If you’ve been in your new ministry context at an existing church for just a couple of months, go slow.”
“If we’re always introducing new songs to our churches, they’ll never be able to settle in.”
“Songs are meant as communion or as consumption. I want our church to think of songs as, ‘This is part of our communion with Christ together,' not to just consume them and hate them afterward.”
“Go slow and be intentional in building the hymnal of your church. Your pastor should be involved in that work. Don’t go in the work alone.”
“We’re not trying to pick songs just to get through the weekend. We’re picking songs to carry us through our lives. Don’t think just week-to-week. Think, ‘What are we forming people toward?’”
"Look through your list of 30–40 songs, and think through the balance of what you’re saying. We’re people with personality quirks, and we tend to like certain aspects of God and certain styles, but be broad and objective with that.”
“A great exercise for a new church is to index by category the songs you’re singing to see if you’re singing a broad scope.”
“If you’re going to be writing prayers, make sure others’ eyes are on them too. There, in writing prayers that people are going to pray with you, you’re putting words in people’s mouths, so you have to be very careful with that.”
“How do I lead and instruct a congregation that has no category for a confession?”
“Our goal is not that our services should be more liturgical. Our goal is that our services always point more and more clearly to Christ."
“There’s no step we have to take to become acceptable before God. We’re totally accepted through the work of Jesus. I didn’t want us to feel like we had to do these things in order for our worship to be acceptable. That’s the idolatry of liturgy.”