We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

What Honors God?

John Wesley led the people called Methodists to a definition of worship that was basic to the pattern of Christian practice and thought:  the appropriate honoring of God for what God had accomplished through Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  What was clear is that Wesley held in tension how that worship should be shaped.  On the one hand, worship should be inward, a service of the heart, a singular heart connecting to God in intimacy, deeply personal.  On the other hand, worship is a means of grace, an “ordinary” way in which God’s grace and presence is conveyed to all people.  Therefore, Wesley recognized worship took different forms.  Prescribed forms lead Christians through a range of prayer types (confession, intercession and thanksgiving), whereas extemporaneity allows personal prayer from the heart.  Some worship is quiet and reflective, other vibrant and bold.  Worship could be singular, in the solidarity of one soul seeking God, but also in the corporate nature in which many gathered to be led as one body.  (The Wesley Study Bible:  Worship; Nashville, Abingdon Press: pg. 509).

In more modern times, Methodists have adapted our styles of worship to fit the context of the community of faith.  We have United Methodist Churches that are VERY traditional in tone, containing elements of worship established for centuries.  But, we also have churches that offer modern takes on worship, using contemporary styles of music and instrumentation, technology, and style.  Some United Methodist churches are “charismatic”, very expressive in their mode of worship, celebrating boldly the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Many churches find they can offer differing styles within their worship offering, holding that tension even in each worshipping body.

At the beginning of this year, we made a decision to offer two distinctive expressions of worship.  We announced and executed a strategy to take our 8:30 service and make it more “traditional.”  We decided to sing hymns led by piano and organ sound, to include responsive readings and creeds and other more traditional elements of worship.  I agreed to wear the clergy robe and we put the traditional worship furnishings out every Sunday.  That decision has been met very favorably based on the feedback I have received.  At the same time, we decided to intentionally move the 10:30 service a few steps toward “modern.”  We secured the leadership of Cameron Floyd and other participants in a “praise band” to lead us in the singing of more modern “praise” songs.  We took a couple of other intentional, modest steps toward this modern style service, and again, the feedback I have received has been positive.

We continue to evaluate and reflect upon the ways we offer corporate worship, and feel led to make some more modest “tweaks” to the 10:30 service (leaving the 8:30 service as our traditional worship offering).  Beginning on August 16 at the 10:30 service, here are some changes we will implement to see how the worship flow feels:

10:25-the Worship band begins to play instruments

(no singing)

10:30-A word of welcome is extended, a reminder of who we are and a request to sign the attendance        registers and prayer request cards

10:31-An opening musical set led by the Worship team

10:40-Offering received, with an added  song

10:46-Children’s time tied to worship theme of the day

10:50-Song-Special-tied to the message

10:55-Video-creative element/Guided prayer in keeping with the theme

11:00 Scripture and Sermon

Closing Song

We will be eliminating a “Passing of the Peace”, the Doxology and Announcement time, except for brief highlights of important upcoming events

The Acolytes will be invited to participate in the 8:30 service.

We/I will welcome your feedback and critique as we try these changes to see if they improve our flow of worship.  As we seek to engage the people around us in the search for God’s abiding presence, we believe we must be attuned to ever evolving and changing culture, while holding steadfast to the good news of Jesus Christ that transcends time and space.  Thank you for being people who understand that our mission is always to reach new people with this good news while growing in those who are already followers of Jesus a desire to grow in Him more.

May the Lord bless us all in this Kingdom work.