Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ancient-Future Talk: May, 2005

Worship - Spirituality - Formation

Most of us who lead in the church, whether in worship, preaching, or some other ministry, make plans in the summer for the next year. In this issue of Ancient-Future Talk I want to introduce an integrated process of worship, preaching, and Christian formation that can affect everybody in the church. It is called Lectionary-based Christian Education.

Lectionary comes from the ancient Latin lectio, which simply means "the act of reading," and refers to a predetermined set of Scripture readings. Ancient Jews followed this practice, the early church continued the Jewish approach, and the liturgical church has always followed it. Today many churches of the free tradition are adopting the lectionary, especially for the season from Advent through Pentecost.

What I like about the lectionary is that it has the potential to form the corporate spirituality of the entire congregation through the year (see Ancient-Future Time).

A group known as Living the Good News has taken what is known as the Common Lectionary and developed an extraordinary study that involves the individual, the family, Sunday school, the weekly worship, and preaching around the weekly texts. Those churches that follow this practice engage with the common text all week in personal and family devotion, study the text in class, and then do worship that focuses on the text. I urge you to consider this for next year. If not the whole year, at least give it a try from Advent to Pentecost (December-June). For more information go to Living The Good News at For services of the Christian year, examples of all Christian services, plus the lectionary texts, music selections, and environmental, look at The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Vol. V: Services of the Christian Year, available at

Blessings on your planning.

Bob Webber
Myers Professor of Ministry
Director of M.A. in Worship and Spirituality
Northern Seminary


  • At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That is still a theological statement of words. God must be everything and in everyone. We ultimately have to say: God is in control and by turning our very lives and fears and joys to him, there is no worry about whether we are doing him as an object or as a subject. The real question is "How big is our God" and how much do we believe in his omnipotence and omnipresence.


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