Monday, November 11, 2013

The Service: Effective Liturgical Leadership

Chapter 2 “The Service: Effective Liturgical Leadership” pp. 27-38

In chapter two, Willimon addresses the structure and leadership of a church service. Speaking to an audience which is unfamiliar with historic liturgy, he suggests that Sunday services should follow a consistent pattern. This pattern includes gathering, proclamation of Scripture, praise to God, responses and offerings, and preferably communion. Willimon observes that in the time of the Reformation communion was normally celebrated weekly but has become less valued since then. In conducting a church service the pastor serves as a gracious host, welcoming people and encouraging them to worship freely. The leader’s attitudes and tone need to be appropriate to the setting and the audience. Remember, at all times, that actions speak volumes. Rising, sitting, reading, praying, the leader’s actions play the lead.

Willimon briefly describes various forms of vestment, leaving it entirely as a matter of preference. He closes the chapter by encouraging involvement of lay leaders, but emphasizing they should be trained and prepared adequately to serve just as the pastor would.

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