An Essential Question
My previous church faced an essential question. It was one church with fifteen different campuses. The essential question was how to unite fifteen different campuses as one church. This same question was asked during my initial visits to Good Shepherd as both the North and the South had different types of services and worship styles.
One Style or Several?
Churches across the country have asked the same question for their own ministry. Some say, to be united, there can only be one service, with a single style of music, lighting, and video usage. Others say, there can be multiple services, but they must follow the same approach to worship. Questions people ask include: is it “one church” if the music is different in two different services? Is it “one church” if the preaching is different? Is it “one church” if the environment and experience expressed through video, and lighting are different? I would imagine each of us has our own opinion on this essential question.
We refer to Jesus’ church as the “Big C” church. Everyone who genuinely believes Jesus’ gospel and places their faith into the person and work of Jesus is incorporated into the Big C church. Each church that teaches Jesus’ gospel is also included in the Big C church. Importantly, Jesus doesn’t require every church or believer to worship the same. In Galatians chapter 3, the apostle Paul described that in Jesus, we are one. This is key, as this unity of faith supersedes our differences of opinion on other issues.
Classic and Modern
The Elders and I believe that the answer to the essential question is that two styles of worship need to be fully supported, both classic and modern. While the worship music differs at each service, music at both is chosen first for theological content, accurately reflecting God’s Word. In another article, we will share our decision-making grid in choosing the music.
We believe God cares that our music choices are true to God’s Word, the gospel of Jesus, and arranged in a singable way for our people. As Paul explained in Galatians, that which unites us in being in Jesus is far greater and more important than other differences. Whatever our differences are, we can all be one in Jesus. So too, we can support different styles of worship as long as we share oneness in the same gospel, oneness in the same truth.
A New Leader
To lead our modern services, the elders recognized that we needed a worship leader who had the character, competency, chemistry, calling and compassion that would be best for Good Shepherd.
For more than six months, we have been talking with people at Good Shepherd, from the surrounding communities and all around the country. We have spoken to a number of candidates and we brought in four different possible leaders. Yet as only the Lord can do, He has given our leadership a light unto our next steps.
We are excited for you to get to know David Price over these next few weeks.
David led worship one weekend in May, so you may remember him. We will help you to get to know him through blogs, videos and other gatherings. Our elders have met David a number of times as he has visited three times over the past eight months and our worship team has been consulting with David for five months. I have known David for two years, and I am personally very excited to be leading alongside of him. He absolutely loves Jesus and loves leading God’s people in worship. David has arrived and is living in Gresham, and we plan to see David leading us in worship later in July.
Please join the elders in welcoming David, and let’s help him feel at home and part of the family.