Southern Baptist Worship Services

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Roy, Sep 21, 2001.

  1. Roy

    Roy
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    I guess I am fishing around to see if Southern Baptists feel that I am off base with my thinking or if a good many feel the same way I feel. In a large number of Baptist churches, in the area where I live, the worship service begins with a song or two. Then it is like time out is called, and everyone gets out of the pews and wanders around, shaking as many hands as they can, hugging necks, or whatever, I guess for the purpose of demonstrating that everyone in that congregation is friendly.

    Back in the 60’s, when I was a young teen attending church in Arkansas, I heard a
    preacher advocate the idea that the worship service belongs to God. He said that
    everyone should do their socializing before entering the sanctuary or whenever the service ended. He even went so far as to say that when in the sanctuary, prior to the start of the service, worshipers should prepare their hearts for the service by keeping all discussion on a spiritual level. If anyone felt the need to talk, he said to discuss the Sunday school lesson, look at the bulletin and discuss the sermon topic, or just discuss something from the Bible.

    Even when I was a teen-ager, I felt that preacher was right on the money, and I still feel the same way today although it is obviously not a popular viewpoint with most Baptist congregations that I have seen in recent years.

    Does anyone care to share a thought or oppinion on this?

    [ September 21, 2001: Message edited by: roy ]

    [ September 21, 2001: Message edited by: roy ]
     
  2. ellis

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    In my church, there is prelude music before the service. We have our "stand and greet" fellowship time before we do anything else. Fellowship is a biblical function of the church. Also, I do not see anything in the Bible which makes the gathering place for worship "sacred". We call ours an auditorium rather than a sanctuary. Why not fellowship for a few minutes as you greet your brothers and sisters in the name of the Lord? I've never felt that it disrupted or disturbed anything.

    Of course, you must take into consideration that my church, while Baptist, is not of the "Southern" variety.
     
  3. Kiffin

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    Here is a sample outline of our service

    I. WE GATHER INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD

    OPENING HYMN

    CALL TO REPENTANCE - 1 John 1:8-9

    SILENT CONFESSION

    INVOCATION

    CALL TO WORSHIP - Always from a Psalm

    HYMN

    HYMN

    INTERCESSORY PRAYER

    OFFERING

    II. WE CONFESS THE WORD OF GOD’S TRUTH AND LISTEN TO IT READ AND PREACHED

    OLD TESTAMENT READING

    NEW TESTAMENT READING

    BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH or a CREED

    SPECIAL MUSIC


    SERMON


    III. WE GIVE THANKS TO GOD FOR HIS SALVATION

    INVITATION TO COME TO CHRIST


    IV. WE DEPART TO LOVE AND SERVE THE LORD

    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    BENEDICTION - Numbers 6:24-26

    CLOSING PRAYER
     
  4. Brother Adam

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    Kiffin-

    It almost sounds as if your church practices a liturgical pattern of worship. I have yet to see this in a baptist church.

    My church goes like this:
    1. Songs
    2. Greeting by the pastor
    3. More singing
    4. Special music and offering
    5. Sermon
    6. Closing song

    Until next Post, adam
     
  5. Rev. Joshua

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    Adam,

    There are plenty of very liturgical baptist churches, almost all of which come from what Walter Shurden identifies as the "Charleston Tradition" of baptist heritage. All of the baptist churches where I have worshipped as an adult have been very liturgical, "high church" congregations.

    Joshua
     
  6. Kiffin

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    Yes, We are a liturgical style Church in worship though it is it what might be called a Free style type since we mix Free Church worship with Liturgical style. Dr. Robert Webber who teaches at Northern Baptist Seminary(??) is a great promoter of this type worship. There are some Baptist also who follow the Regulative Principle that is very similar to the Liturgical style. Our Church loves it! [​IMG]

    [ September 22, 2001: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  7. Brother Adam

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rev. Joshua Villines:
    Adam,

    There are plenty of very liturgical baptist churches, almost all of which come from what Walter Shurden identifies as the "Charleston Tradition" of baptist heritage. All of the baptist churches where I have worshipped as an adult have been very liturgical, "high church" congregations.

    Joshua
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Is this pattern of liturgical worship prominate among any particular sect of the Baptist heritage (i.e. SBC) or is it found scattered among all different backrounds of Baptists?

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  8. Brother Adam

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    Also- do the churches that practice a liturgical style also practice a cycle of worship?

    For instance the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America of which i used to belong to) practices a cycle that repeats itself every three years (year A, B, and C- they are in year C right now). Each year contains different readings out of the Bible with focus on different themes.

    Do any Baptist churches recognize the different parts of the church year? Such as the Advent season, the pentacost season, or others.

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  9. Rev. Joshua

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    Almost any church that uses liturgical worship is going to follow the seasons of the church year (starting with Advent, moving through Ordinary Time, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time, and closing with Reign of Christ Sunday). Even though many of my fellow alumni went on to churches that don't obserce the Christian year, we were all trained in it.

    As to the lectionary cycle (Year A, B, & C), we are indeed in Year C right now. Any churches that follow the lectionary should also be in Year C, since the whole point of the lectionary is to provide a common framework for worship. The lectionary provides an OT, Psalm, Gospel, and Epistle reading for each Sunday and Holy Day in the Christian Year. In Year A, the gospel reading come from Matthew, in B - Mark, and in C - Luke. John is scattered across all three years.

    The gospel readings are chosen for their relevance to the Christian year, which is - itself - built around the life of Christ. The other readings are generally chosen in relation to the gospel readings. Many non-liturgical pastors use the lectionary texts to plan their worship and their preaching. In the past five years, I've deviated from the lectionary once.

    Joshua
     
  10. Rev. Joshua

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    Oh, and to your other question, from what I understand there are very few liturgical churches left in the SBC. (If anyone knows of any, please send me an e-mail. It will help with an article I'm trying to finish.)

    Almost all of the Alliance of Baptists churches are liturgical. CBF churches run the full gamut from Sandy Creek style to very high church. I spoke with a friend who's an ABC pastor in Michigan a few days ago, and he said that there are some very liturgical baptist congregations (with divided chancels) there as well.

    Generally, from what I've found, the more liturgical baptist congregations are older ones in urban areas.

    Joshua
     
  11. Brother Adam

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    Thank you for that information! I am quite surprised to learn that. Until now all of the Baptists I have talked to about this subject had no clue what liturgical is much less the parts of the church year.

    That is actually somewhat comforting to know in my switch from Lutheran to Baptist to know that there are liturgical Baptist churches. I guess know that this ignorance has been cleared up I should ask just HOW closely related some worship services are to the Lutheran church I attended.

    Do any Baptist churches have the following?:

    1)Do ministers or other worship leaders where robes during worship?
    2)Do any Baptist churches consider their "auditorium" a sanctuary?
    3)Do any baptist churches light candles in the auditorium? (these would be lit by acolytes during the opening hymn and extingushed during the closing hymn)
    4)Do any churches celebrate communion every week or every other week by going up to a railing to recieve the bread and cup?

    Thanks for sharing! [​IMG]

    Until Next Post, Adam
     
  12. Rev. Joshua

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    Adam,

    All of the above in my experience.

    There is no one style of worship that is common to all baptist churches. Each congregation is free to plan worship that its members find nourishing and meaningful.

    At Virginia-Highland Baptist Church, we wear robes, stoles, cassocks/albs, and chausbles as appropriate in worship. We also have lit candles in the sanctuary, and celebrate communion/Lord's Supper/Eucharist at every worship service.

    I am a strong, strong advocate of celebrating the Eucharist every Sunday. It is the oldest tradition of the Church, and it offers symbolism opportunities for worship that go beyond hymn singing and the sermon/homily.

    We do not have a communion rail in our current sacntuary, but we will when the current renovation is complete. The congregation does come forward, and we celebrate by intinction.

    Joshua

    [ September 22, 2001: Message edited by: Rev. Joshua Villines ]
     
  13. Rev. Joshua

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    By the way, good timing on this question Adam. I'm working on two separate articles on liturgical worship and the baptist tradition.

    Joshua
     
  14. myreflection26

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    In answer to the original question. I really do not feel it is wrong to have a break to stand up and greet one another in love. When you have a new visitor come in this is a good time to go over and shake thier hand and welcome them in and for a few seconds get to know them so they can feel comfortable with the rest of the service.

    As to no other conversation other than spiritual to set the mood for the service...eh I dont see the need for it, I've come to realize that if you have that tone all week long then you don't need to try to set a tone of worship and spirituality a few minutes prior to the service, our worship leaders to sing and start the music prior but we all talk and greet and do whatever until time to start.

    Just a thought.

    Sue
     
  15. dfd2

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    Rev villines,
    As to your comment of not nowing any SBC churches that are liturgical in their worship form i beleive that there are several. I have to admit that I dont know of any specifically off hand, but the Founders group within the SBC is popularizing the Reformed faith and practice amongst SBC church life. You can look at their website and ask someone their for more detailed info on specific churches. The site is http://www.founders.org
     
  16. Michael Wrenn

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    First Baptist Church in Memphis, TN is a liturgical church.
     
  17. Purple Lady

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flyfree432:
    Kiffin-
    My church goes like this:
    1. Songs
    2. Greeting by the pastor
    3. More singing
    4. Special music and offering
    5. Sermon
    6. Closing song

    Until next Post, adam
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Mine's like that, too, except no offering. We have offering boxes on the walls by the doors, my pastor mentions that he believes it's between each of us and the Lord and only wants "cheerful givers" and we can drop our offering into the box on the way out (or in). He has asked that we come into the worship service in the sanctuary with our focus on worship, but there's still greeting each other and sharing until the service starts.
     
  18. Rev. Joshua

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Michael Wrenn:
    First Baptist Church in Memphis, TN is a liturgical church.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Michael, is that an SBC or a CBF church?

    Joshua
     
  19. Michael Wrenn

    Michael Wrenn
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    Joshua,

    I believe it is both.
     
  20. donnA

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    ====First Baptist Church in Memphis, TN is a liturgical church. ===

    I believe, if memory serves me correctly, and it rarely does, but their pastor (or at least the one they had then), preached a revival at our church once. I think that was about 7 years ago.
     

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