Thinking Out Loud

March 25, 2011

Accidental Anglican

I realized yesterday morning that I’ve accidentally become an Anglican.

Well, sort of.

You see, as an Evangelical, we base everything on the sermon.  As the sermon goes, so goes the service.  As the sermon went, so went the service.  And you could say, as the sermon will go, so will go the service.  That’s why, for example, people don’t say, “I go to North Point;” they say, “I go to Andy Stanley’s Church;” as if he owns it or something.

We like good preaching.

We also like good worship, but that’s not really a biggie since its now been proven that the Top 100 Churches in America — as selected by Outreach Magazine — are all using the same MIDI loops of Majesty, I Will Follow, and (for less cutting edge congregations) Revelation Song.

So given the choice, we choose on the basis of a good sermon.

I have three choices this weekend.

The preaching will be great at all three.

So I’m making my choice based on some advance information on the worship.  As it turns out, I have in my computer the exact worship setlists from two of my three choices for the weekend services.  This the worship-nerd equivalent of insider-trading information.

In other words, I’m choosing based on the liturgy.  I’m prioritizing the liturgy. And as every good mainline Protestant knows, as the liturgy goes so goes the service.  As the liturgy went, so went the service.  And you could say, as the liturgy will go, so will go the service.

I can’t decide if I’m being discriminating, or if I’m being shallow.




  1. I just escaped from the confines of a liturgical church. I had tried to fit because it seemed a good compromise with my husband who grew up catholic and seemed to need the standing and sitting and robes and recitations. But it was stifling and, in the end,even he wanted something more.

    I have finally settled into a church that so suits me that I no longer say it is for the worship or the sermon I attend every Sunday and midweek service. I gather with people hungry to absorb the Word and eager to join together to worship their king. Half an hour of singing and one hour of verse by verse teaching of the Word…then we eat lunch together and fellowship.I come away feeling energized to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel”.

    Are you shallow or discriminating? Well having followed your blog for a few years I know you are not shallow. So that leaves “discriminating”.

    Comment by Cynthia — March 25, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  2. There was a time when I found my home church’s liturgy to be stifling and lifeless. It had depth, but not juice. And all those Chris Tomlin dominated setlists I’m used to now seem to have the opposite problem.

    It’s taken me a while to realize that liturgy requires you to meet it partway, and that is where it opens up a powerful encounter with Christ. If you’re feeling prompted to approach a liturgy with an open heart, then I think you’re in for a very special time this Sunday.

    Discriminatory? With good reason. Shallow? Absolutely not.

    Comment by N.W. Douglas — March 25, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

  3. As a Christian I have an Evangelical background wf no liturgy. As a teenager I was confirmed in the High Church of England Wf some liturgy.My mother was a Catholic Wf all liturgy—— Litany, liturgy, and some Creeds tend to by-pass the flow with the heart experience. Scripture, SOLA SCRIPTURA, ads to “Heart” and and rightly embodies the expected Sermon of the Day. There are exceptions of courseJL

    Comment by Joe Lambert — March 25, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

  4. Discriminating or shallow? Depends on the songs in the worship set of your choice. :)

    Comment by Sharon — March 26, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

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