Title

Created to worship : rescuing the local church from having a good time.

Date of Award

5-1-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

School

Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Abstract

This project explores how worship has evolved in the Black church over the years, and is more than just "A Good Time". "A Good Time" is a phrase used in some church circles that expresses the desire to enjoy oneself at any expense. Whether it is through singing one's favorite song, hearing a catchy phrase, or creating one's own atmosphere without the prompting of the Holy Spirit, a good time is enjoyment at the expense of others. "We had church today!" "I really enjoyed myself." or "Didn't we have a good time?" These are just a few of the lines that can be heard as the members converse amongst themselves as they exit the church on Sunday. This has been an ongoing occurrence at First Calvary Baptist Church for many years. After having very talented and gifted pastors, musicians and choirs that were excellent presenters, many of the members equate the quality of the worship service to the preacher's or musicians' performance. Performance is used juxtaposed to presentation as a way of expressing self-glorification of the artist. Many worship leaders put themselves on display and ignore their true responsibility of bringing worshipers in closer relationship with God. This project aims to educate members of First Calvary Baptist Church about worship, worship leadership, worship history in the context of the Black church, and the responsibility of members in the worship experience. My goal is to provide First Calvary Baptist Church a more meaningful worship experience. This project compares the worship practices of slaves in the "invisible institutions (the underground black church not under the auspices of white oppressors)" to contemporary worship styles of today. The liberating "holy dance," that once freed the slave from the heinous hand of oppression, has now bound the church of today by self indulgence and misunderstanding.