Is Worship really a big deal?
Worship is the most important thing we do. It sets the tone for every ministry of our church. So, at St. Patrick we think a lot about why we do what we do! In the Bible, “worshippers” are the only thing that God is said to be seeking. When people ask us, “How would you describe your worship, is it ‘traditional’ or is it ‘contemporary?’” Our answer to that question is “Yes!” Or, when they ask, “Is your worship service for ‘seekers’ and ‘non-churched folk’ or is it for ‘believers?’” Again we say emphatically “Yes!” Let me explain.
What “worship style” is St. Patrick?
At St. Patrick we believe that the bible teaches that worship is to be “before the nations,” which means it has to be intelligible to people who have never been to church and those who have been there all of their lives. We also believe that worship should be totally engaging – our minds, our bodies, and our hearts are to be brought into the presence of God! So every week, when we gather for worship, there is a rhythm of seeing God, seeing our need of God, seeing that God’s grace covers our sins and giving ourselves back to God and his kingdom work in the world. We are like jesters before a King, bringing our gifts and offerings and wonder of wonder – God says he smiles and sings over us!
But you really want to know about style don’t you? Our worship is sort of “relaxed liturgical.” What? Again let me explain. Worship is an “act.” “Liturgy” means, “work of the people.” So in worship, our whole being is engaged – in singing, confessing, prayer, giving, and meeting God as each week we conclude our worship by going forward to meet Jesus in “bread and wine.”
Our music is typically a joining of ancient hymns with the music of our culture. Our particular style is more in a “folk/blues” tradition. We are usually “unplugged,” with a band made up of guitar, mandolin, violin, pedal steel guitar, and piano. Most of our music is ancient hymns (the words) set to the kind of music we love to listen to in our cultural context.
How long does Worship last and what about children?
Our worship service usually last about an hour and ten minutes. We have a nursery for children ages infant to three. We have Children’s Church for children four years old through first grade. They will worship in the sanctuary until the sermon and then leave for a lesson by one of our Children’s Church teachers. They will come back into the service during Communion. We think children are learning to worship by being in a worship service, long before they really understand all the details of worship! Also, if you have infants, they are welcome in worship and if they get too loud you can step out into our Narthex or the Conference Room. The Worship Service will be streamed live in those areas!
Why do you do Communion every week?
When we worship at St. Patrick we really only have one goal – that we will make a big fuss about Jesus! All that we do in worship is to celebrate that we have been set free from sin because of what Jesus did on the cross for sinners two thousand years ago. Therefore, the climax of all of our worship is always Jesus inviting us to be with him and experience his power and presence in bread and wine. We want everyone to leave every worship service at St. Patrick not talking about what a great church we have but what a great savior we have! (Communion is open to all baptized believers, even if you are from another church or denomination. If your children have made a profession of faith, they are welcome at the table as well).
Scott Walker has been leading worship at St. Patrick for almost 14 years. He was born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi, and grew up in a Christian home constantly filled with good music. His mother taught music in the local school system for over 30 years and she continues to teach and play piano at her local church. While attended Ole Miss he discovered his love for the guitar and began leading worship at Reformed University Fellowship on a regular basis. Upon graduation, he moved to Memphis and began a long tenure in youth ministry at Independent Presbyterian Church, where he continued to hone his music style at youth group meetings and conferences.
He enjoys leading worship at St. Patrick and has maintained the same group of musicians for the majority of his time at the church. He has been married to his wife, Anne, for 23 years and they have 3 children: Will, Margaret, and Sally, who also play an active role in the worship service at St. Patrick.