A quick Google search on a definition for “rhythm” provides, among many, the following:
- In the widest sense, a dividing into short portions by a regular succession of motions, impulses, sounds, accents, etc., producing an agreeable effect, as in music poetry, the dance, or the like.
- The harmonious flow of vocal sounds.
- The pattern of recurrent strong and weak accents, vocalization and silence, and the distribution and combination of these elements in speech.
- Procedure marked by the regular recurrence of particular elements or phases.
We are surrounded by a variety of rhythms in our lives everyday. We tend to intentionally create rhythms (a.k.a. schedules) to provide order and structure for life. I think we are naturally inclined to live in rhythm. After a really busy season of life we naturally are drawn to take a step back, take a few days off, maybe a vacation. We can’t live in high gear all of the time, it wears us out.
I wonder if the same is true for our worship gatherings – they need rhythm, which by definition is variation. Perhaps the high times of great celebration would be a little bit more meaningful if we had more subdued reflective times in between. And then, maybe there are times when we don’t need to live in either extreme.
I think how we go about creating rhythm looks different in every church’s context. I had a discussion this past week about the church year calendar. For us at The CORE, celebrating specific times of the church year builds a natural rhythm of highs and lows, busy and calm, celebration and reflection, into our worship gatherings.
Do you think rhythm in worship gatherings in important? Do you build rhythm into your church’s worship gatherings? If so, how?