Listen to Pastor Jim Feliciano explain Manna's open worship policy.
Click below to hear the audio clip. 5.3 mb size.Worship Clip (5.34 mb-MP3)
"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers."
John 4: 23
People often want to know what worship will look like. Often, the question is asked like this, "what will your worship design be?" Many churches have a set order of worship and are fairly rigid about that order of worship. Frankly, the contemporary churches are no less rigid than the traditional churches about their order of worship.
This question is hard to answer at Manna. There are a number of churches lately that have decided that worship design must be flexible to fit the following factors: the message, the intended audience, and the desires of the Holy Spirit. Manna will have no set order of worship that it will follow each and every week. The Worship Design Team will be a very important part of the church. For a fuller explanation of current opportunities, please go to the Worship Opportunity page in the Ministy section.
What will determine the order of worship? First, the most important question will be: will this planned service and order of worship honor God? That means any order of worship must be open to change and spontaneity Secondly, the theme of the weekly message will determine and drive the planned order of worship. As much as is possible, the elements of worship will reinforce the theme via all the senses. Now, since we believe in an "open worship" policy, as explained elsewhere, this element of worship will not necessarily reinforce the services theme. Thirdly, the Worship Design Team will be constantly evolving and their creative expression encouraged. Experimentation will not be discouraged. Some things will be tried and repeated. And, certain things will be tried and not repeated. However, if there was an attempt to worship in spirit and truth, there never will be condemnation of the worship service elements.
Manna will encourage people to worship in spirit and truth. Worship should be both liberating and honoring. We wish to unleash people’s worship expression and creativity. It is my firm belief that an essential part of the Christian life is learning to be what God made us to be. We are unique individuals. This church will not play to the crowd or aim to entertain a congregation.
Over time, all human organizations inevitably fall into patterns. However, patterns must never become rigid habits. We can only avoid this result if we thoroughly pursue the "worship life" that will continue to be stressed at Manna. Also, if we continually reach out, we will continually have new blood in touch with our rapidly changing culture.
Behold the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things
Isaiah 42: 9-10a
How will this effect our church. Quite simply, if Manna looks much the same twenty years from now as it looks today, we will be out of touch with our community and God. One constant in Southern California is change. Also, God says many times, as we see in Isaiah 42: 9-10, He desires a new song. At Manna, we will try to sing a new song to the Lord. We will during the course of our journey together sing many new songs to the Lord. If that new song is sung in spirit and truth, it will honor God.
Therefore, it will be hard to say exactly what our order of service will look like, but I do know this…we will journey together as a church with our worship lives to gather together to honor the Lord in spirit and truth. Our gatherings will be planned yet allow for spontaneity. Our expressions will be spiritual and truthful, which will always necessitate changing expressions of worship. However, our focus will always be on God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit. That will never change.