Stott on Form and Freedom

Today's Worship Quote speaks to that delicate balance between form and freedom when it comes to planning and leading worship.

Now public worship is a vital part of the life of the local church. It is even essential to its identity. Yet in the interest of "spontaneity" worship services often lack both content and form . . . . Most churches could afford to give more time and trouble to the preparation of their worship. It is a mistake to imagine either that freedom and form exclude one another, or that the Holy Spirit is the friend of freedom in such a way as to be the enemy of form.

-John Stott, in The Gospel and the End of Time, InterVarsity Press, 1991, page 124, as collected in Authentic Christianity: From the Writings of John Stott, compiled by Timothy Dudley-Smith, InterVarsity Press, 1995.


I usually vote for "planned spontaneity" - a service that is very carefully and thoroughly planned, but one in which the plan does not rigidly dictate everything that transpires.

Have a great week!