What is the Culture of Your Worship?

2014 Doxology and Theology Conference

Culture has effects on us that we may be unaware of.  Are you living and leading in a culture of disenchantment or one that looks for that which is beyond what we can see and measure? In this 40-minute session from the 2014 Doxology and Theology Conference, Mike Cosper explains how culture has crowded out transcendence in conversations in the last 500 years  and how that has impacted the culture of worship. 

Mike is the Pastor of Worship and Arts at Sojourn Community Church. He is the author of Rhythms of Grace: How the Church's Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel, The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long For and Echo the Truth

Culture is what we're immersed in all of the time—like a fish in water, we are not aware of our surroundings. Mike said that in the last 500 years, we've moved to a disenchanted perspective of the world that operates on what we can see and measure. We have taken the transcendence out of many religious conversations and experiences and don't even realize it. How do you see that played out in your church context? What kind of culture do you have?
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How would you answer the two questions Mike asked about disenchantment and what does that say about your own posture: 1) What is your first impulse when you hear a story that someone has been miraculously healed? 2) Do you feel awkward or uncomfortable when conversations turn to spiritual warfare, demon possession, or charismatic gifts?
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Mike illustrated the difference between a gift and a commodity with the telling of the Scottish folktale, "The Girls and the Dead Man." And like the story of manna in Exodus 20, a gift turned into a commodity destroys the gift. Do you believe that God's provision is good enough or do you practice your faith with formulas, plans and strategies? How as that impacted your calling?
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Mike reminded us that we don't live in a world where what we can see and measure is all that there is. We live in the strange, real world of the Bible with "miracles, demons, spirits…dead men that get up and walk!" He gave two areas to consider as we lead a world in the midst of disenchantment:
  • Discipline - Regular practices, stories and habits that orient ourselves to transcendence
  • Awakening - Call attention to things that excites God—exalting God

How do you use meaningful habit and repetition in your life and in your leading to orient yourself and those your lead to transcendence? Are you relying more on formulas and strategies or relying on the Holy Spirit? Is there anything that needs to change?
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If you want to break through a life of disenchantment, you don't need a better strategy. You don't need a better band or a better sound system. You don't need better skills or talents. You don't need a bigger platform or building. The power is in the Word. It's telling the story, remembering who Jesus is.

Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ will come again

For more information about the Doxology and Theology Conference and how you can attend an upcoming event, visit: DoxologyandTheology.com.