"I was glad when they said unto me, let us go unto the House of the Lord!" The joy of coming to worship has inspired generations to come to church to sing, praise our Savior, to hear God's Word, to be confronted by sin, to find again forgiveness and to be challenged to be His servant in our world!
Worship comes in many forms - in fact, in the early days of Baptists in the south, there was a tradition that had a more ordered form of worship and another tradition had a more freer spontaneous form of worship - both with the desire to offer praise to God. Both forms of worship were part of the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In my family, we experience several forms of worship. This past weekend, my parents traveled from upstate NY to Toronto, to attend a "gymanfa" - a Welch hymn sing. Some 600 people gathered for two days for a time of just singing old Welch hymns. Kelsey, our daughter, works in a church that has both a classical or traditional ordered service with piano and organ held in a sanctuary and a more contemporary service held in a gym with a band and worship team leading them. Both work and are meaningful to different groups of people.
I prefer a very ordered organ driven traditional liturgical style of worship. That is very meaningful to me. Yet, there are many other forms worship that can be and are very meaningful forms of worship. Anytime Christians gather to honor and praise God, in whatever form, it can be meaningful worship. I, and we, at First Baptist, can be open to different forms that can move and inspired us. The Psalms say, "Sing a new song unto the Lord!" When I see a "new" song, I have the opportunity to hear God's Word in a new and fresh way for me today.
To blend these forms and styles of worship is often not easy, but at First Baptist, we are trying. Our uniqueness at First Baptist is that we are a local community multi-generational church. Which for me, means that we bring different forms of worship that honor our Savior for our many generations. I know we can. Ultimately, we may do, what so many others do, and have two different kinds of worship services on a Sunday morning - a classical or traditional style of worship and a celebration informal style of worship. Yet, I would not want someone to miss what might happen in the other service. I want to attempt to blend our worship service
So, to First Baptist, we have had a traditional classic ordered form of worship for a long time. Let us hear a "new" song! As we blend our services more, may we honored our Lord above all.
Dr. Rich Lloyd
A follower of Jesus Christ. Husband to Debbie since 1980. Father to Logan, Kelsey and Jordan. Since 2000 the Pastor of the First Baptist Church Newport, Newport, Tennessee nestled in the great Smoky Mountains. A graduate of Samford University (BA '79) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv '83, ThM '85 and PhD '91). A third generation Southern Baptist minister. A serious Peyton Manning and Atlanta Braves fan!