Confession is Worship
Our sin is serious to God. So serious, in fact, that Jesus had to die. While we stand forgiven at the cross, we cannot take confession lightly within the worship experience. By bringing our people into a time of repentance, we will draw them into a deeper assurance of God’s love and grace. We will also bring an authenticity to our worship that milennials think is missing. Consider some ways to incorporate confession that connects with a younger generation.
Recite Ancient Prayers
Reciting ancient prayers to milennials is not the first thing that comes to mind for worship leaders, but the younger generation is realizing that the ancient way of worship contains a wealth of untapped resources that could draw people into a rich worship experience. Recently, we took a prayer of confession out of the Book of Common Prayer, and used it in our worship service. Besides changing a couple words to make it more clear, we read the prayer as is, including a pastoral prayer and then a congregational prayer. It takes all the pressure off of thinking up your own meaningful prayer, and interesting enough, we received great feedback, even from the younger generation.
Posture of Repentance
Repentance is all about humility. In order to repent, one must come with a humble heart before a holy God. This humility can be physically expressed by kneeling before God. For our church, kneeling is not a normal thing and someone who does kneel within our worship service may be seen as extreme or weird. However, when we gave people the option and explained the heart behind the posture of kneeling, over half of our congregation decided to kneel in a recent time of confession.
Take the Time
Often worship leaders are hesitant to allow much time for confession because they want to make sure they can play all their songs before the sermon begins. Therefore, any time of confession is very short-lived. If we want our people time to truly repent and experience God’s forgiveness, then we will consider cutting a song in order to give them the time. It’s that important.
Connect it with Communion
This last week, we held our time of confession right before communion. It made communion all the more powerful because when people understand the great debt they incurred because of their sin, they will have a deeper gratitude for Christ’s atoning sacrifice. The Bible also instructs the believer to examine themselves before they partake in the Lord’s Supper. Confession before communion will lead to a more meaningful intimacy in worship.
As a worship leader, do not miss the opportunity to lead your people in a time of confession. It will breed a deeper appreciation for the gospel and lead to a greater depth of worship.
Engaging the next generation of the church is not an easy task, especially in a culture that is changing at such a fast pace. My church has launched a Research and Development team to create a worship experience engaging millennials with the truth of Jesus Christ. This worship service will act as a learning laboratory to experiment with different forms of worship in order to discover what truly connects with this generation. The results of this experiment is being recorded in this space as it happens. You can find the first of the series here. This is the fourth of the series. To see the entire list of Todd’s articles, click here.
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