Waiting Worship & Spirit-led Vocal Ministry
The first generation of Friends
developed a unique approach to worship in which those already active in the
faith community gathered in silence to wait upon God. Each of those present sought to turn her/his heart towards
God. As more and more of those
present do so, the worship becomes "gathered" in communion with God and with
There is no pre-planned singing,
preaching, or vocal prayer.
Instead, if any present believe clearly that God requires her or him to
speak, the words given are spoken out of the silence.
This practice was largely lost
among Friends. During the 19th century many meetings replaced
waiting worship with Protestant style services with pre-planned hymns, Bible
readings, and sermon. Among those
meetings that kept to the waiting format, many came in time to lose the heart of the practice, namely the deep
communion with the Holy Spirit. It
is my experience that the silence in many unprogrammed meetings today never
becomes gathered and spoken messages stay on a surface level, arising from the
thoughts of the speaker rather than the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
The Biblical Roots of Quaker Worship explores a variety of passages in the Bible beginning with John 4:19-24 that undergird waiting worship and spirit-led prophetic vocal ministry. Includes an appendix with a summary of additional citations used by Barclay in the 10th proposition "Concerning Worship" from his Apology.
Gospel Ministry is the minute of exercise from a meeting for discernment
held on ways to deepen worship in the meeting held at Quaker Spring in 2008.
the Gift of Vocal Ministry is an
article written in 2001 for New Zealand Friends. It focuses especially on the practice of formally recording
gifts of vocal ministry, a practice now abandoned by most unprogrammed
meetings. It also describes, however, other means of deepening the quality of
vocal ministry during waiting worship and includes a set of queries that any
member of a meeting can use to reflect on the quality of spoken ministry in her
/ his meeting.
from YM Disciplines on the Subject of Spirit-led Vocal Ministry was a handout prepared for a course curriculum I
developed on Gospel Order.
an issue focusing primarily on issues around recording gifts of vocal
ministry and responsibility of the entire meeting for the quality of
On Praying for Others - and Ourselves is an article written for Friends Journal on the subject of intercessory prayer.
Description of the Qualifications Necessary to a Gospel Minister. This wonderful 18th century volume by
Samuel Bownas offers invaluable advice to those who feel led to
vocal ministry during worship.
Do Messages in
Meeting Really Come from God? Is a
wonderful short essay by my friend and fellow New
Swarthmoor Community alumnus, Richard Accetta-Evans, who writes the
Christ-centered Quaker blog, Brooklyn Quaker.Some Quaker Voices about Vocal Ministry-3.pdf
collected by Bridge City Meeting, Portland OR