Posted by: Johnold Strey | April 8, 2010

Crazy Names for Worship?

I have a favor to ask of you, dear blog reader.  Would you be so kind as to open your local phone book (Yellow Pages), find the “churches” section, and report any particularly unusual or bizarre names for worship that you find?  I am not looking for standard terminology such as “Mass,” “Eucharist,” “(Divine) Service,” or “Worship (Service).”  I’m looking for the stuff that’s outside the norm — whether it’s a little outside the box, or so far outside the box that it’s in a different area code!  I recently made this request on my Facebook account, and quite a list developed.  I have an outside project that I’m working on, and I might use some of the items from this list in that project.  My intention is to show how names or titles for worship tend to reveal the presumed purpose of worship — whether the presumed purpose is good or bad.

Here’s a sampling of what my Facebook friends and I have come up with so far:

  • Celebration (variations: Victory Celebration, Sunday Celebration)
  • Upbeat Wholehearted Worship
  • Spirit-Filled Worship
  • Connection with God
  • Saturday Night Live (variation: Sunday Night Live)
  • Blue Jeans Service
  • Wired Worship
  • Cross Connections
  • Free & Alive Worship
  • Three services in one parish: Blended, Praise & Worship, Alternative/Edgy

My thanks if you can add something to this list!  If you’d rather not post it publicly, please email me.  My address is listed at the bottom of the Info & Bio page.

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Responses

  1. St. Peter congregation has used the terms “Worship Outreach” and “Celebration Service.” These terms are novel, but I would not say they are “crazy” because the words we use either do or will reflect accurately our theology.

  2. I agree with Rick that the words we use either do or will reflect accurately our theology. The names that you have received from your Facebook friends all seem to have one theme in common: “Worship is what I am doing.” I am connecting with God. I am celebrating. I am free and alive (seems to be a shot at other churches whom, I infer, are bounded and dead). Wired worship? If that reference is to coffee-intake before the service, I suspect most Lutheran services would be called “wired” too. (Not me, I have to drink decaf now.)

    However, Rick’s examples of 1) Worship Outreach or 2) Celebration Service are not as clear as to me as they seem to be to him. What I take from them is 1) The purpose for Christians gathering to worship is to reach out to those who are not Christians. If this is the reason for gathering, then the worship is not really for the Christian. 2) Celebration and Service are an interesting combination. Celebration is what I do. As for the term “service”, well, who is serving whom at the service?

    I bring nothing to the service that God needs. However, God graciously serves me with boundless blessings that I do need — mercy, forgiveness, the body and blood of Christ, salvation, etc…

    While we get to respond to God at each Service with hymns, prayers, etc.., I think we represent our theology much better when we highlight that the service is about how God blesses and gives to us. That is how faith is created/strengthened. Celebration saves no one. God’s service to us is how sinners are saved.

    Pax,
    Tom

  3. Back in the ’50s, when everything in Southern California seemed to be drive-in, there were drive-in church services with slogans like “Worship as you are in the family car,” and “Honk to say amen.”


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