A Taste Test: Assessing Your Worship Taste
On a scale of 1-5, (with 1 being least true and 5 being most true) respond to the following questions regarding your tastes when it comes to worship. Total each section to see your favorite and least favorite tastes.
Do you have a taste for nature in your worship?
- I get a sense of God’s presence whenever I am surrounded by nature—forests, mountains, oceans, starry nights.
- I sometimes find it difficult to sense God’s presence if I spend too much time indoors.
- It’s more appealing to me to think about a worship experience that takes place in the outdoors rather than indoors.
- I would be able to experience God’s presence by praying in a garden or while walking a trail in the woods.
- A book called Nature’s Sanctuaries sounds appealing to me.
- I often understand new concepts or sense guidance for life problems by spending time sitting or walking in nature.
Do you have a taste for beauty in your worship?
- I get a of sense God’s presence when there are opportunities in worship that touch my senses of sight, hearing, smell or taste.
- The sights, sounds, smells and tastes associated with a communion service give me more of a sense of God’s presence than spoken words alone.
- Beauty is a very important part of my worship experience. I find it challenging to sense God’s presence in a setting that is plain or lacks a sense of majesty or awe.
- I can easily relate the words sensuous, colorful and aromatic to worship.
- I often feel the presence of God when I visit an art gallery, listen to beautiful music, sing or dance.
- Adding elements in which I see beauty, such as candles, music or art, or having objects to hold, such as a cross, prayer beads or prayer shawl, would be a way to better experience the presence of God when I pray.
Do you have a taste for ritual in your worship?
- I get a sense of God’s presence through liturgy and tradition in worship.
- Traditions and memories of worship from childhood offer me a sense of God’s presence.
- Having a set routine for daily or weekly worship practices helps me to better focus on God’s presence.
- Memorizing and praying traditional prayers, like The Lord’s Prayer, or reciting Statements of Faith or creeds are meaningful practices of worship for me.
- I find it challenging to sense God’s presence in a worship service that is informal or unstructured.
- Adding symbols, rituals or traditions of faith would be ways to better experience the presence of God when I pray.
Do you have a taste for solitude in your worship?
- I find it easier to sense of God’s presence when I am alone and away from all distractions.
- My faith seems to be more of an internal than an external experience.
- The words silence and solitude are appealing to me in regard to worship.
- I would enjoy participating in a spiritual retreat that included a time of silence, individual prayer or fasting.
- I find Monastic practices and discipline to be appealing ways to experience God’s presence.
- I often sense God’s presence or find guidance for my life through extended times of solitude.
Do you have a taste for justice in your worship?
- I get a sense of God’s presence when engaging in activities that advocate for justice, like writing letters to elected officials or participating in protests for causes of justice.
- I appreciate opportunities that the church offers me to engage in social advocacy.
- I can easily associate terms like courageous confrontation and social justice with my spiritual life and worship experience.
- I find the cry for social justice in the prophets and in the teaching of Jesus to be inspirational in my faith experience.
- An important aspect of my spiritual experience is participating in ways that speak and act on behalf of those marginalized in society.
- Names like Mahatma Gandhi, Oscar Schindler, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., or Caesar Chavez have been important in my faith development.
Do you have a taste for service in your worship?
- I get a sense of God’s presence when engaging in helping others in their time of need.
- I feel it is important, as the Book James teaches, to “put my faith to work”.
- The words compassion and service are important in my spiritual life.
- I find spiritual nurture in opportunities to serve in the church in places that are often “behind the scenes”.
- I see the face of Christ in the needs of others and I see my hands as the hands of Christ as I help others.
- I find acts of compassion and service to be good ways to express my love for God and grow in fellowship with others.
Do you have a taste for celebration in your worship?
- I get a better sense of God’s presence when participating in worship that has an element of emotional excitement.
- I closely associate the word praise with worship.
- I can’t help feeling excited whenever I think about God.
- I enjoy worship experiences that offer upbeat music, like “praise songs” or choruses.
- I enjoy including contemporary praise music in my personal spiritual practices.
- I might agree with Simon Peter, who wanted to build a monument on the Mountain of Transfiguration, and just stay in the place where I have had an emotional encounter in worship.
Do you have a taste for quietness in your worship?
- My experience of God’s presence focuses on what might be thought of as an intimate spiritual connection.
- I find my personal spiritual experience reflected in scriptures like the 23rd Psalm that talk about God’s abiding and sustaining presence in my life.
- Words that I associate with experiencing God’s presence in my life are friendship, consolation and companionship.
- I am comfortable when worship has an element of reflective silence.
- An important element of my personal prayers is when I sit in silence, listening with my heart to what the Spirit of God speaks to me.
- I experience the presence of God and find guidance for my life by spending time in quiet reflection.
Do you have a taste for thinking in your worship?
- When it comes to my faith, I want to understand things in order to believe them.
- I associate the words concepts and truth with my personal experience of faith.
- I get the most out of scripture when I have the opportunity to study the historical context of the setting and language of the text.
- I find exploring church doctrine or theology a good way to experience God’s presence in my life.
- I find a worship experience that offers me the opportunity to learn lessons to be inspirational.
- I need to have my mind stimulated in order to grow spiritually.