“How Christian Worship Forms Christian Faith”


I attended this conference last week in Ambridge, PA.  I highly recommend these videos if you want to dig deep into the treasures of our tradition of liturgical worship and see how these ways of worship are relevant and needed today.

I have them listed in the order in which they were given, and the are all great. But if you only have time to watch one, start with the last one by James K A Smith.  In it he helps us understand how we are being formed all the time by the “liturgies” of the market place.  He explains that the commercial world understands how human beings are moved and formed better than does the church.

As human beings we are moved by longings far more than ideas.  And our longings and desires are being shaped all the time, mostly in a godless direction.  It is easy to see that the world has a definite interest in forming our longings toward things that can never satisfy and leave us always hoping to find (and buy) the next thing that promises happiness but never delivers. The church tends to think we can counter the toxic liturgies of the world simply by providing good information.  But character is formed by what we do, and the communities in which we are immersed, far more than by what we hear (in a sermon or lecture). This applies to what we normally think of in worship, but also to other things like shared meals and activities in which we act out our faith together with others in service and obedience.

Edith Humphrey: “The Lord Is For The Body: Matter and Epiphany in Christian Worship”

Timothy George: “Christian Preaching in Liturgy and Life”

James K. A. Smith: “Liturgical Discipleship: Worship as the Center of Spiritual Formation” 

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