I remember the day when we were asked or we asked our congregations to turn to page # and read together a printed responsive reading. Although the content was filled with God's Word, it seemed that we or they just went through the motions. Yesterday, as a response to our remembering Christ through the Lord's Supper I led our congregation through a responsive reading that was projected.
Remember that we had just shared in a sacred moment, taking the elements of the Lord's Supper, and interspersed with those actions we worshiped through singing.
So there should have been excitement about reading God's word that was a response to what we had shared...but it didn't start out that way. I had planned that it would be that kind of a start.
After I read the first leader line and they responded, I stopped the whole process and prompted them about how we should be reading the words with excitement. We then started again...wow what a difference. There was life in the words.
Remembering how things once were does influence how we plan, however, we need to evaluate on the content and quality of an element not on how it was used last.
Responsive readings do have a place in worship, especially when based on God's Word.
Getting the congregation to participate with energy is our job and not much different than encouraging them to participate in any other part of the service.
What are your thoughts about using responsive readings in worship?
When was the last time you participated in a responsive reading in a worship service?