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The difference between "taking the service" and "leading worship"

"There is a subtle yet profound difference between 'taking the service' and 'leading worship'. The focus on the former is on following the liturgy or order of service. The focus on the latter is on helping people to encounter the presence of God. This is likely to involve an ability to be comfortable with the use of silence to enable people to hear what God is saying to them. Equally the use of testimonies and stories, in which people share experiences of God's action are likely to be evident. A sense of celebration of the reality of the goodness of God will be present. This is likely to be balanced by an ability, corporately, to engage with the pain and brokenness in the world around. So joy and sorrow, laughter and tears will be in evidence."

Robert Warren, The Healthy Churches' Handbook  

Comments

Nick H said…
Would this be the same Robert Warren who used to be Vicar at St Thomas's in Crookes, Sheffield? I remember him from the early 1990s a time of great changes for that church when I had a brief period of attendance there.

Nick H.
Yes, it is.
Naomi said…
One of my favourite quotes is:

Change comes from small initiatives which work, initiatives which, imitated, become the fashion. We cannot wait for great visions from people, for they are in short supply at the end of history. It is up to us to light our own small fires in the darkness. ”

Charles Handy - 1994

I don't know much about the General Assembly but it seems to me that real positive social change often starts when a small group feels fired up about one particular issue and it then 'lives and breathes' the issue until a true impact is achieved. Might it not be better for the GA to have a very broad social change objective, and for individual congregations to draw on their strengths, collective energies and experiences to push for change in whatever they really believe in , right through to the end? Like you mention, people often don't have enough energy to change everything, so why not pool collective energies of a congregation and focus for as long as necessary one one issue? If the will and the energy is there, others will join, not just the mission for change, but perhaps also the Unitarian faith?

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