Discover the Mystery of Faith
Once in a while, I come across a book that deepens my understanding of worship in a way that changes the whole game. Not only does it grow & challenge me personally, but it directly affects my philosophy & theology of visual worship. I’m adding Glenn Packiam’s “Discovery the Mystery of Faith” to that short list of books.
Glenn is inviting us to change the way we think about designing & curating worship for Sunday morning. To not look at the songs we sing & the prayers we pray as simple reflections of our faith… but that everything we do on a Sunday morning (visuals included) shapes the way we believe.
Worship shapes believing. Or if you prefer Latin, “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.”
It’s a radical notion if you think about it. But it’s a very ancient, Christ-centered truth that has deep roots in the Church.
For centuries the Church has believed that the way we worship and pray becomes the way we believe. But if this is true, it’s time to take a closer look at what we say and sing and do each week.
Drawing from his own discovery of ancient worship practices, Glenn Packiam helps us understand why the church made creedal proclamations and psalm-praying a regular part of their worship. He challenges us to discover why the Lord’s Table is the climactic point of our corporate “retelling of the salvation story.”
When our worship becomes a rich feast, our faith is nourished and no longer anemic. The more our worship speaks of Christ, the more we enter into the mystery of faith.
Ian Cron’s Foreword
Ian Cron (author of “Chasing Francis”) is a mentor & friend of both Glenn’s & mine who has played a major role in helping us understand the beauty of the ancient liturgy & the Mystery that comes along with it. Ian wrote an amazing “Foreword” for Glenn’s book, and I wanted to share an excerpt from it:
As I travel the country, it’s clear that a much-needed shift is taking place. Worship leaders are exhausted. The weekly pressure to plan and deliver innovative, seismically moving, crowd-attracting worship services is unsustainable.
Essential and far-reaching questions are surfacing: is contemporary worship compassing people toward a transfiguring encounter with God or pandering to our culture’s addiction to peak experiences, entertainment, and celebrity? Has the word relevant become code for “keep the consumer satisfied”? Do services designed around themes address the longings of people in search of a narrative that will make sense of their lives? Have we become more focused on “Lights, Camera, Action,” than on “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”?…
Everything Ian just described directly affects the visual worship leader, creative director, tech guru, pastor, curator, designer, and musical worship leader. If you are involved in designing & leading worship for your Church, I challenge you to read Glenn’s book and take to heart what he has discovered on his journey.
Glenn’s book is accompanied by a few other projects:
The Mystery of Faith – EP
This collection of songs is the soundtrack for the Mystery. And not only is it a “collection” but it’s a journey that leads you to the Table. It’s modeled in the form of an ancient liturgy, with prayers, confessions & readings woven throughout.
On a personal note, I love this project because I witnessed the creation of two of the songs… the two that Ian Cron & Glenn co-wrote together. In all my years of living in Nashville, I’ve never sat in on a songwriting session before. And I absolutely loved it! So I’m partial to “We Confess” & “The Lord Be With You.” =)
An iPad Experience
If you have an iPad, be sure to check out this FREE resource, which lets you experience the book & music in a unique, visual way. It’s not the entire book, but it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you just want to dip your toe in the water for now. Steve Jobs would be proud. iBooks Author rocks!
The Live Experience
I’m currently typing this blog post out in the lobby of New Life Church’s “Tent” in Colorado Springs. In just a few hours, Glenn and a bunch of his friends will be celebrating the release of the EP & book. This will be a full on neo-liturgical worship experience climaxing with the Eucharist (Communion).
I’m out here turning their tent into a cathedral using my projectors, which I’m pretty excited about, to say the least.
UPDATE: The night was amazing. Here are some photos.
They had one center screen which contains all text for lyrics & readings, illuminated by various images of cathedral architecture.
Then I used a total of 7 ultra short throw projectors to illuminate the side walls and ceiling. Three on each side and the 7th aiming up. I broke away from the traditional approach of environmental projection… so instead of expanding the projection around the stage (where the center screen was), I utilized the white walls that were on the extreme left & right of the congregation… so that the imagery really surrounded THEM instead of just the stage.
Here’s what one of the white walls look like BEFORE:
Christ has died.
Christ has risen.
Christ will come again!
This is the Mystery of Faith!