Worship is the theme of our shepherd’s conference this year titled, “Spirit and Truth.”
The word “liturgy” simply means “work of the people.” Worship is the work of the people. Are we doing our work well as we plan and lead worship?
There’s been much talk about worship and liturgy the past ten or twenty years. Feeling a certain absence of gravity in worship, a number of pastors have turned their churches’ worship in Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran directions. This is particularly true in our administration of the sacraments.
Among Evangelicals, both conservatives and Kellerites have adopted weekly communion. Even more notable, though, is their shared repudiation of fencing the table. Conservatives and liberals agree that all should be welcoming and joyful in the lead-up to communion. Left behind are the historic warnings of Scripture concerning the danger of sickness and death being visited by God on those who eat and drink “unworthily.”
Central to the Protestant Reformation five centuries ago was a simplification of the complicated and sacramentalist doctrine and liturgy of Rome. Both Luther and Calvin never stopped warning of the dangers of formalism, ritual, and ceremonies. Calvin and Knox shared the same liturgy at the administration of the Lord’s Supper and central to that liturgy was not just their call to the timid, weak, and fearful to come, but their warning the profane, hypocrites, unrepentant, and unforgiving not to come.
This conference is aimed at reminding Protestant church officers what reforms of worship Luther and Calvin led, why those reforms restored Scriptural worship to the Church, and how to implement those reforms in our congregations.
One especially helpful part of this conference will be the leadership of two of our speakers, Pastors Jody Killingsworth and Andrew Dionne. Jody was getting his masters and Andrew had just completed his doctorate at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music when they were called into pastoral ministry. Andrew serves in the PCA and Jody in Clearnote.
Both men understand the central place of music in worship—how it can harm and how it can help, how it can dishonor God and how it can unite His people as they give Him glory. (By the way, I tried to find a pic of Killingsworths with their children, but alas.)
Each year in February, Clearnote hosts this conference for church officers. We welcome all officers, but also those who aspire to church office. We also welcome wives, although we are sorry not to able to provide nursery care for children.)
Here’s more on this year’s conference. We hope you will join us!