Worship Reformation: The Sound of Spiritual Awakening In the Covid Crisis

When Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, he made a declarative statement in an open letter to the world that the Church had drifted from what it was supposed to be doing, and demanded a serious revisit of its mission, priorities, and methodologies; the result was the Reformation, which did indeed have profound, lasting effects upon not only the Church but society as a whole. 

Adversity’s Gift

It seems that during this time of Coronavirus quarantine and social distancing, the Church and the world have been given an opportunity once more for just such a reset, to recognize new spiritual awakening in ourselves and our culture as a response to our truly desperate corporate need for God in our lives.  The idols of our normal rhythms and rituals have been taken from their altars, dashed to the ground and broken, and we have the opportunity to individually re-engage with God as our sole provider and sustainer and recognize that He is truly still and always on the throne.

Stretched and Challenged

This time of worldwide pandemic response has required us all to come up with creative solutions to the challenges of ministering to not only fellow believers via online means, and is in the process forcing us to create new avenues of discipleship, evangelism, spiritual formation, personal connection and correspondence, and to establish new approaches to stewardship of time, talent and treasure. 

Reflection and Reformation

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther posed ninety-five questions to the Church at large, and I propose there are a few main questions we should be wrestling with in this time:

How is God using this time of crisis to awaken us spiritually and rearrange our priorities?

How is God using this time to reform the way we worship Him?

How is God using this time to change local churches for the better?

How is God using this time to change us for the better?

How can we each respond affirmatively to be found faithful with this opportunity?

May the Lord bless and keep us during this time of crisis, and may we each find ways to serve and love Jesus and others in increasingly creative ways that showcase the brilliantly endless variety of the imagination of our God who loves us and desires good for us.

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An Excerpt from Glenn Packiam’s New Book “Worship and the World To Come”

Glenn Packiam (Doctor of Theology and Ministry, Durham) is the associate senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is the songwriter of more than fifty worship songs, including “Your Name” and “Mystery of Faith,” and the author of several books, including Blessed Broken Given: How Your Story Becomes Sacred in the Hands of Jesus and Discover the Mystery of Faith: How Worship Shapes Believing. He is also a visiting fellow at St. John’s College at Durham University and an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary.
Packiam preaches at conferences for pastors and worship leaders and has spoken at Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University, Biola University, Asbury Seminary, Calvin College, and Trinity School for Ministry. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Holly, and their four children.

Worship As the Reordering of Power

Christian worship is about rightly-ordering power through the love, mercy, and justice of God in Jesus Christ so God’s people live as faithful worshipers, bearing light in dark places and spreading salt in dying places. We show God glory by reflecting His character in action, not just by saying or singing the Word.


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