The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Ginkworld and Ship of Fools

One of the best things any worship team and its leadership can do is visit other congregations to observe and learn. Emergent worship takes effort and thought. Seeing how other congregations in your region worship is beneficial. A good place to start is the church list at Ginkworld, where you can find any number of congregations with alternative worship styles to explore. Most will be more than happy to spend time with your worship team and share how they experience God in worship.

If you want some extra input, check out “The Mystery Worshipper” column at Ship of Fools. Be warned, the site includes a hefty dose of satire, but the Mystery Worshipper is for real. Volunteers attend services worldwide and report back on the experience according to a specific set of questions. With reports going back to 1998, it’s really a global guide to effective worship (or its lack) in a wide variety of congregational settings and styles.

In preparing to move worship from contemporary modes into more emergent styles, any worship team will want to examine The Mystery Worshipper library—with a smile—and use its 20-question criterion in evaluating worship at other congregations or at home. Whether a “prog-rock” opera on Martin Luther or media-driven ancient liturgies, resources for emerging worship may be just around the corner.


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