I’m still thinking about the Dranes’ Report for the Church of Scotland, and still dwelling on the preference for creative and reflective worship.
An interesting book is mentioned, Curating Worship by Johnny Baker. (We haven’t read it yet, we may well. It’s gone on the list.)
Just the very title and brief description raises some questions. Is the creative church just as much dependent on a professional, skilled, perhaps theologically literate leadership? Don’t misunderstand me, it would be great to have a church led by an artist or a curator. Is it feasibly reproducible, though, on the large scale? The alternative doesn’t sound appealing, a McDonaldized church with no space for the new, for the prophetic, creative or reflective, except as such gifts are possessed by the pastor.
We certainly want congregations where all can participate (although I don’t want to prejudge the full variety of what that participation might be) and understand that each other’s participation matters. We don’t want congregations where, essentially, older people receive from willing younger volunteers. All can give.
So, it would seem we have a circle to square: diverse participation of all probably will require coordination (the judging elders of 1 Corinthians 14, if you like), but we are still hoping to find ways in which our churches can grow without professional leadership, possibly amongst those who have no desire for a public role. Is it possible?