I describe our worship planning as ‘lectionary light’. Some Christian traditions follow a set series of bible readings, over the course of a three year period. This series of bible readings is called a lectionary. It is way of making sure that congregations hear a broad spectrum of scripture and it stops preachers just preaching on our favourite passages, or topics that we like! We use the lectionary for some of our worship themes. (We use the Revised Common Lectionary.)
The rest of the time, the Worship team may choose the readings along a specific theme, or just choose the theme and allow the preachers to pick the readings that speak to them. More recently, we have also used worship resources developed by the MCC Office of Church Life and Health. I think this ‘lectionary light’ approach allows us to enjoy the rich tradition of the Christian Church. It also enables us give attention to what the needs are of the local congregation to learn and grow in God. Worship planning requires a good ear for the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. We sit in worship team meetings chewing over ideas, reading scripture, reflecting on what we have done in worship and where in the church year we are. We play with words, until we get just the right tone for what we want to convey. I love that moment in the room when everyone goes “Yes, that works.” Knowing the variety of opinions, ideas and traditions in the room, to get that moment where everyone agrees seems to me to be the work of the Holy Spirit.