What is a Luthera Christian? (6 of 6)

Good Order Helps Worship Happen


Good order in worship is about FOCUS: helping people focus on Christ:

  • Using scripture as the basis for the words we say and sing

  • Eliminating distractions (too many people walking around, conversations during worship, peeling paint)

  • Providing familiarity (avoiding novelties that draw attention to the novelty and not the point)

  • Consistent visual and auditory symbols which provide layers of meaning


Good order is also about the WHOLE CHURCH: helping people experience God’s church that is bigger than the congregation

  • Using an order of worship rooted in a common history

  • Using a common series of readings (the Revised Common Lectionary)

  • Using seasons of the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost) and calendar of holy days

  • Using common translations of the Bible, Lord’s Prayer, and Apostles’ Creed


Good order is about worship being an expression of the KINGDOM OF GOD: helping people experience heaven on earth

  • Worship has a TRANSCENDENT dimension, meaning it lifts us out of time and space and connects us to the Big Picture of what God is doing

  • We remember that our praises join the angels and all the saints in heaven

  • We use texts (especially from Revelation) which focus us on the end of time, when God’s Kingdom is fully revealed.


Adiaphora = matters of freedom

The word “adiaphora” refers to things that are not essential for salvation but are matters of freedom. If the proclamation and reception of the Gospel is the primary focus of worship, there are many matters that are issues of freedom:

  • What language we use

  • What instruments support our singing

  • Wearing vestments (the white robe, etc)

  • Having an stone or wood altar

  • Having an altar at all!

  • Using pews or chairs

  • Using setting 1, 2 or maybe not using the ELW (the abbreviation for our hymnal, Evangelical Lutheran Worship)!

  • What else can you think of?


Just because these are matters of freedom, does not mean they are unimportant! Remember the point is to proclaim the Gospel and since everyone speaks different languages, have different customs, and are distracted by different things, then we must be serve the whole community by discovering how they hear the Gospel best. We use our freedom for the sake of the Gospel and for our neighbor.


For more information, please call, write or e-mail


St. John’s Lutheran Church

7205 N 51st Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301