Worship at Woodmont

read on behalf of the shepherds on sunday, january 14, 2018

At Woodmont, our desire is to be led by the Holy Spirit into worship that honors the Father and transforms us to become more like Jesus. Last January, we, as your shepherds, made a commitment to prayerfully consider the intersection of worship, mission and heritage. In the 2017 Vision and Mission Booklet that we handed out, we communicated, “Where heritage gives us effective and helpful expression to our love for God, we should listen. Where it does not, we must find other and new ways to express this love.” We said, “It is wise to keep our focus on mission rather than heritage as we encourage others to love God.”

We want you to know that the shepherds and ministers have been engaged in continual dialogue about worship at Woodmont. In the first three months of 2018, the shepherds and ministers will enter a time of discernment as we seek God’s will with regards to worship at Woodmont. Over the next 90 days, we will look intently at the intersection of worship, mission and heritage. We will be discussing different ways to structure our Sunday assemblies to engage seekers and longtime members alike. We will be evaluating our current policy regarding the use of instrumental music. And we will be looking for new ways to call more people into the mission of God. We are overwhelmed by God’s heart for the lost. The Good Shepherd left 99 sheep in the open field to pursue the 1 that was lost. We believe God’s people should reflect God’s heart!

This period of discernment will conclude with open and honest communication to the Woodmont family. We will consider worship policies and practices through the lens of our mission: Love God, Love Each Other, and Love the World. Yesterday, the shepherds and ministers gathered to consider worship from a theological perspective. We seek to honor God, above all others, as we worship. In February, we will be considering worship from a missional perspective. We want to mirror God’s love for the world with our assemblies. And in March, we will assemble to consider the pastoral implications of changing or maintaining our current worship policies and practices.

Insights that emerge from our time of discernment will be shared through congregational teaching in both large and small groups. We invite and encourage your questions, concerns, encouragement, and prayers. We value your input and we will create space for dialogue. While we know that we cannot “please” everyone we fully intend to lead everyone. Any changes in policy will be communicated well in advance of implementation. We are asking you to pray that God would lead us all. We are asking you to pray for us and to trust us. We are committing to open and honest communication. Above all, we are committing to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

We are excited about these discussions and the movement of the Spirit in this place. We are confident that God will continue to guide us and lead us as we seek to Love Him, to Love Each Other and Love the World!