diversity in worship and liturgy in small congregations

Cas Wepener: Diversity in worship and liturgy in small congregations


Sometimes you as minister feel as if you have been left alone.

Thomas Long se boek: Beyond the Worship Wars.


Two diverse experiances:

Big church worship

Small church worship


Worship in small conrgegations is already diverse.

Question: Thinking about the already existing diversity from perspective of liturgist.


4 Aspects of diversity:


All people are in certain respects like…

All other people

There are shared basic human needs

Shared human needs is a comfort for any preacher because there are shared existential needs.

No other people

Intimate relationships between preachers and pastoral care.

Also socio-specific cultural aspects

Work on your emphatic imagination (Cradock) in die ander se skoene.

Some other people

Cultural realities in congregations

Be like an ethnographer and explore

7 symbols to look for;

Historical material



Rituals and liturgical patterns

Architecture and art

Insiders and outsiders

Congregational activities.

For preaching;

Who are the heroes in the congregations

What are the silences,  stories never told

How do people view God

View of the congregation and her mission

Many subcultures…



Why do people go to church?


What is amazing is the fact that they do come at all

Is it not a dangerous question

Vital and faithfull congregations make room, somewhere in worship, for the experience of mystery.

Bible is a codeword for God.

People come to church for mystery.



A sense of belonging

Community and God rivals

What to do?

A theological sounding

From intimacy to hospitality

Vital and faithful congregations make planned and concerted efforts to show hospitality to the stranger.

It is not good for people to be alone.

People long for warm and intimate.

We must move from a language of intimacy to hospitality.





The congregation themselves are used in worship

The congregations is not an audience, worship is there for active participation.


Good music is that which empowers en gives way to express.

If a song is beyond a congregations reach it is not good.

Passion and changed through music.




Coming from the congregation going to the congregation.

Strong, loving and wise leaders.

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