Radical changes during the past century not only effected the broad global society, but also church life. Dwindeling numbers of membership and lesser church attendance show that worldwide secularization has put the church in a tight position. On the other hand, there is currently renewed interest in spiritual life. This tendency gives Christianity and the church as such the opportunity to come forward with new and creative ways to convey the message of the gospel. One of the focus points should be to rediscover and renew the worship service, as it is still the main function of the church. Post modern ways of life and thinking should together with the eternal Word of God be the prime factors of rethinking worship. With mainly these arguments in mind, this study attempts to develop a design by which creative and effective worship services can be planned. Because the Bible as Gods Word is central in reformed theological thinking as well as in the whole spectrum of such church life, that will be the basis. As far as the worship service is concerned, the text for the sermon is held to be not only the focus point but actually the source from which all the liturgical elements develop. The study starts off with an overview of current tendencies. Chapter 2 deals with the research work being an empirical survey as well as a literature study. Results of the empirical survey is dealt with throughout the study. Chapter 3 discusses the whole issue of the presence of God in the church service. After an overview of this phenomenon in different eras of church history, it concludes with the outcome that God’s presence is firstly a historical fact and secondly a means of communication during a certain event. This can be experienced because the worshiper is a person with a certain human makup who lives in a particular time and space. In Chapter 4 the issue of the hermeneutical process comes into view. It deals with the Word in context and feels in the end at home in the presence of the textual communicative approach of a person such as Paul Ricoeur. The tendencies of the post modern time is also discussed. Chapter 5 focuses on liturgy itself and leads to the point where liturgy is actually the merging of Gods message with the message of the congregation. The final chapter develops the liturgical model which we can call the liturgical design where the text for the sermon is the viewpoint.
Dissertation (MA(Teologie))--University of Pretoria, 2007.